Yellowstone National Park culled more than 1,100 bison from its herd this winter, surpassing the number laid out in its management goals.
A total of 1,155 bison were killed or removed, Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said Monday, more than the target of 600 to 900 that officials had originally agreed to.
That means the park will meet a goal of having fewer than 4,500 bison in the park after spring calving season for the first time since 2012, officials said in a statement.
A multiagency agreement aims to keep the population at about 3,000 to curb the spread of brucellosis, a disease that causes bison to abort. But last fall, the park had about 4,800 bison.
Most of the animals culled this year were sent to slaughter, and 349 were killed by licensed tribal hunters.
Environmental groups oppose the slaughter program, and this year’s culling prompted arrests of five protesters from the activist group Wild Buffalo Defense.