Up to 900 bison currently located at Yellowstone National Park are set to be shot by hunters, sent to slaughter or relocated during the upcoming winter season, the Associated Press reports via NBC News.
Officials confirmed an agreement was made to remove between 600 to 900 bison as part of a program aiming to combat the spreading of disease among the species.
The AP reports an additional 200 bison among the 5,000 at the national park could be captured or hunted if those numbers are met in adherence to an agreement made by federal, tribal and state officials during a meeting held last Wednesday (December 1).
Bison routinely leave Yellowstone and migrate into Montana during the winter season, which has created more concerns over the animal spreading brucellosis -- a bacterial disease that can force cows to abort their calves -- to cattle.
The disease is also capable of spreading to humans, but occurs rarely in the United States, the AP reports.
Elk have been capable of spreading brucellosis to livestock, but there are no previously documented cases of bison doing so, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's report on Yellowstone's recent decision.
Park biologist Chris Geremia confirmed Yellowstone has an estimated 5,450 bison as tabulated during the high end of recent counts.
Park officials believe removing around 600 to 900 bison should stabilize or slightly decrease the species' population ahead of a likely increase during spring calving.