Although ranchers have a good reason for not wanting bison in the vicinity of their cattle due to diseases, ranchers have little reason to worry about the animals when it comes to grazing.
According to research from Utah State University, ranchers should worry more about rabbits than bison when it comes to grazing.
The research, conducted in southern Utah, looked at how cattle, bison and rabbits, mainly jackrabbits, foraged in the Henry Mountains, Laura Lundquist reported for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. This location is home to between 300-400 bison, and many ranchers also graze their cattle in the area. The researchers found that cattle ate about half of the grass in the area, bison ate about 13 percent and rabbits ate more than a third.
Coyote extermination could be to blame for the excess numbers of jackrabbits in the area. Utah ranchers and famers kill the coyotes to protect their livestock, but coyotes also eat rabbits.