While the bison has not been brought back to its historical numbers, and probably never will be, the work done to prevent its outright extinction can be cited as one of the first successful attempts in this country to stave off the damaging impact humans have had on a species. After all, the bison could have gone the way of the passenger pigeon, which went from a population in the billions to zero in four decades.
The bison's African counterparts -- elephants, gazelles, giraffes and Cape buffalo, to name a few -- face a similar human threat from poaching and climate change. They still have a chance to remain wild if preventative actions are taken to manage their populations.
Learn about the other three conservation stories on Conservation International's blog, Human Nature.