Calif. Buffalo Go on Birth Control

State thins Santa Catalina Island herd humanely
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2009 1:00 PM CST
14 bison were shipped to Santa Catalina island for the filming of "The Vanishing American" in 1925 and left behind when the shoot finished.   (©tinyfroglet)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Southern California's only herd of wild buffalo has been put on birth control. A conservation authority seeking to protect unique plant life on Santa Catalina Island, where buffalo have roamed since 14 of them were shipped out for a silent film in 1925, has been corralling the animals and injecting them with contraceptives. The move replaces earlier programs to cull or deport the bison.

The injection is only 90% effective, meaning tourists will still see some Catalina buffalo in years to come. "Bison will continue to be bison. Males will continue to compete for females, and females will continue to go into heat. The only difference is that we can control how many calves they have," a conservation officer tells the Los Angeles Times. "For bison in love, this means romance without responsibilities."