The bison was the last of the mega-fauna to roam the plains of North America. As the years progressed and America grew in population, there was a significant decline the buffalo’s population-almost to the point of extinction. With a growing population, more settlers moved out west. The colonization of the west saw an increase in the destruction of the buffalo’s habitat as well as a mass slaughtering of them for both food and hunting purposes. The buffalo also faced problems with disease, competition with other animals, as well as drought.
This is related to a large part of Chapter 8, titled The Unforgiving West, as well as parts of Chapter 1, titled Wilderness Under Fire, from Steinberg’s Down To Earth.
Thesis: With an increase in westward expansion, there was a significant decrease in the bison’s population due to over hunting and mass slaughtering, disease, drought and competition with horses and cattle.