June 25, 2009
Rare Buffalos Born on Long Island, NY
By Dave Hurteau
From the Southampton Press:
According to Native American culture, white buffaloes are considered to be sacred signs of spiritual importance. That association most likely had to do with their rarity; the National Bison Association estimates that only one out of every 10 million buffalo [is] born white.
But very little is known about their polar opposites on the color spectrum: the black buffalo.
Pat Jamieson, the outdoor recreation planner for the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge in Moiese, Montana, said that is most likely due to the fact that black buffaloes are even rarer than their albino-looking counterparts.
And Eva Fearn of the Wildlife Conservation Society Institute at the Bronx Zoo explained that black buffalo are so unusual that there are no tangible statistics that document their birth rate. Referencing the “Guide to North American Mammals,” which includes detailed descriptions of more than 400 native species, Ms. Fearn said, “there is no mention at all of buffalo born black.”
So, it is easy to imagine Edwin Tuccio’s surprise when, a few weeks ago, he discovered that two black bison were born on his 250-acre North Quarter Farm in Riverhead.
“With my experience in the bison industry, I know how rare black buffalo are,” Mr. Tuccio said. “Being the only bison farmer on Long Island, I knew that to have not only one, but two black buffalo makes us unique.”