Wallowing Behavior of American Bison (Bos bison) in Tallgrass Prairie: an Examination of Alternate Explanations

  title={Wallowing Behavior of American Bison (Bos bison) in Tallgrass Prairie: an Examination of Alternate Explanations},
  author={Brock R McMillan and Michael R. Cottam and Donald W. Kaufman},
Abstract Wallowing is a common behavior of American bison (Bos bison). Past explanations and current hypotheses suggested for wallowing behavior include grooming behavior associated with shedding, male-male interaction (typically rutting behavior), social behavior for group cohesion, play behavior, relief from skin irritation due to biting insects, reduction of ectoparasite (tick and lice) load and thermoregulation. We monitored circannual and circadian patterns of wallowing frequency by… 

Vegetation Responses to an Animal-generated Disturbance (Bison Wallows) in Tallgrass Prairie

It appears that these once common wallowing disturbances increase the diversity of tallgrass prairie beyond that of prairie that is grazed only (i.e., prairie with cattle), as well as local richness and diversity of plant life forms.

Concurrent Effects of Fire Regime, Grazing and Bison Wallowing on Tallgrass Prairie Vegetation

Abstract We examined the effects of fire regime and bison activity on the plant communities of active bison wallows and the surrounding grazing lawns at Konza Prairie Biological Station in

Use of Bison Wallows by Anurans on Konza Prairie

Bison may have been important in the life histories of prairie anurans by creating “pools” in the form of wallows that could be used as breeding sites, however, more information about the life history of individual species of anuran is needed before viability of bison wallows as a breeding habitat can be determined.

Seed dispersal by Bison bison in a tallgrass prairie

It is concluded that bison are potentially important dispersers of forbs as well as graminoids in tallgrass prairie landscapes, and a high abundance and wide diversity of seeds were found in both bison hair and dung.

Diet, gut microbiota, and management of American bison ( Bison bison) in conservation and commercial herds of the Great Plains

It is suggested that bison may benefit from access to forbs and browse in addition to grasses, and have the potential to foster both ecological and economic sustainability in the region to a greater degree than the system currently in place.

Influence of Grazing by Bison and Cattle on Deer Mice in Burned Tallgrass Prairie

It is likely that differences in deer mouse abundance between bison-grazed and cattle- grazed treatments were due to differences in vegetation structure caused by the two types of grazers.

Bison wallows effect on soil properties, vegetation composition and structure in a recently reintroduced area

Bison are considered an ecologically keystone species of the North American grasslands because their activities influence ecosystem dynamics and interactions, particularly their wallowing behavior. 

Bison-mediated seed dispersal in a tallgrass prairie reconstruction

Bison-mediated seed dispersal may be a critical ecological process that has been eliminated in grassland ecosystems by the removal of this keystone species. In this study of epizoochory and

Blazing and grazing: influences of fire and bison on tallgrass prairie stream water quality

Abstract.  Fire and grazers (such as Bison bison) were historically among the most important agents for maintaining and managing tallgrass prairie, but we know little about their influences on



Effects of Horning and Rubbing Behavior by Bison (Bison Bison) on Woody Vegetation in a Tallgrass Prairie Landscape

Results suggest that horning and rubbing by bison, along with fire and drought, may have influenced the historical distribution of woody vegetation in prairie environments.

Social behavior of the American buffalo (Bison bison bison)

  • T. Mchugh
  • Biology
    Zoologica : scientific contributions of the New York Zoological Society.
  • 1958
In the regions under investigation the rutting season of the bison was from mid-June to the middle or end of Sep., but the fact that calves were sometimes born outside the main season indicates that rutts activity may occasionally occur at other times of year.


Performance and productivity data for the Konza Prairie bison provide a benchmark for comparison with other herds, and mass losses for different age and sex groups did not differ significantly among years.


Optimum economic productivity was found to depend on the effectiveness of tags in establishing fly-free grazing conditions and maintaining them without interruption during the complete summer grazing period, when animals were tagged before the first overwintering horn flies emerged in spring.

Functions of Scent-Urination in Ungulates with Special Reference to Feral Goats (Capra hircus L.)

Scent-urination is documented and described for the males of several bovid and cervid species. Evidence is given indicating that the fluid released is in all cases urine, and not semen as is commonly

Bisoniana XCVII. Rhythm of daily activity and behavior of European bison in the Białowieża Forest in the period without snow cover

The feeding, resting and walking activities of group members are highly synhronized, implaying that the group is a highly consolidated structural unit of bison populations.

Autecology of the Adult Horn Fly, Haematobia Irritans (L.), (Diptera: Muscidae)

During the horn fly seasons of 1959 and 1960, experiments were conducted to determine the relationship of weather conditions to horn fly populations on three breeds of dairy heifers, to correlate the

Bisoniana LXXXV. Quantitative analysis of wallowing in a confined bison herd

Walloning was recorded in a confined plains bison herd which was accompanied by bulls all year round and concluded that Wallowing was contagious thus functioning as a group cohesive element by synchronizing the herd's activity rhythm.

Rhythm of daily activity and bahavior of European bison in the Bialowieza Forest in the period without snow cover

In 1982— 1981, the a c tiv ity o f E uropean b ison B tsou bon asu s (L inn aeu s, 1758) w a s observed co n tin u ou sly from d aw n to dusk. It has been foun d th a t th e rhythm of a c tiv ity

Behavior of elk (Cervus canadensis) during the rut.

Durch Rohren, Geweihschlagen am Gestrauch, Graben and Suhlen scheinen andere ♂♂ aufmerksam und angelockt zu werden, wenn es beim Drohen blieb, war immer der Angreifer gleich alt oder alter als sein Gegner.