Catalina Island Bison

The Conservancy is dedicated to acknowledging the cultural and economic importance of the free-ranging Catalina Island bison herd, woven into the Island’s heritage.

a herd of wild Catalina Island bison


In 1924, a herd of fourteen American bison was introduced to Catalina Island to provide the backdrop for the production of a film. The herd remained on the Island after filming was complete and since its creation in 1972, the Conservancy has accepted the responsibility of maintaining a healthy herd, while minimizing their impact on the important wildlands habitat of Catalina Island.

Catalina Island bison are often seen on Conservancy Eco Tours. Book your tour today!

Book an Eco Tour


Catalina Island bison are large wild animals that can cause serious injury and even death. They can accelerate quickly to 35 mph and jump over 6 feet. Never approach, touch or attempt to feed bison. If you feel threatened, identify an escape route. Place a large object between you and the bison (tree, rock, vehicle), and give the bison a path to avoid you. Never box in a bison with people being both in front and behind it.

Bison Safety


Two Catalina Island bison standing side by side