The historically introduced House Rock Valley bison herd has, in recent years, migrated from the eastern Arizona Strip onto the Kaibab Plateau within Grand Canyon National Park. Bison are considered a nonnative species to the southern Colorado Plateau, and the animals adversely impact sensitive ecosystems prompting National Park Service wildlife managers to pursue their removal. Archaeofaunal evidence of bison in the Grand Canyon and neighboring regions, however, raises concern that bison may in fact be native. Assessing the evidence within a zooarchaeological interpretive framework is critical since mere presence/absence lists of bison remains do not address the potentially complex cultural processes involved in the formation of archaeofaunal assemblages. Inter-assemblage comparisons illustrate a decline in relative abundance and skeletal completeness correlated to distance from traditionally understood historical bison distribution. If bison were present in the Southwest, as the evidence suggests, they likely entered the region only occasionally as small, dispersed herds.
|Commitee:||Koprowski, John, Stiner, Mary|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Management, Archaeology|
|Keywords:||Applied zooarchaeology, Arizona, Bison, Colorado Plateau, Grand Canyon National Park, Invasive species, Wildlife management|
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