Conservation of the American Buffalo
By 1902, federal efforts to prevent the extinction of the American buffalo were beginning to pay off, with more than 1,000 head thriving in protected herds. While the buffalo, often 10 feet long and weighing about 2,000 pounds, were hunted by the Plains Indians as their main source of food, clothing, weapons and shelter, massive herds continued to roam the Plains until European settlers began hunting them almost to extinction. In the two years between 1872 and 1874, more than 4 million animals were killed by white hunters. The federal government passed stricter game laws in 1889, when only 551 buffalo remained.
Image: Library of Congress