In 1964 provincial wildlife biologists in Newfoundland shipped two dozen bison across the country and introduced them onto Brunette Island. These were the Salt Water Bison, and they were going to provide another game animal for the depressed population of Outport Newfoundland, but high mortality coupled with low fertility doomed the experiment. Published in the Spring ’12 issue of the Newfoundland Quarterly.
The government was Joseph R Smallwood’s at the time, and the Wildlife Division had virtual free reign, unfettered by paperwork, and limited only by its small budget. Even that was not a huge obstacle. When the division needed a new Microtome sectioning instrument they got in touch with Al Oeming’s Game Farm in Alberta and bartered a caribou for the machine. That was just how you did things in the ‘trading days.’
That kind of frontier approach was evident in the way environmental science was conducted, too. One project aimed to establish the home range of the Island’s moose. So they went out with tranquilizer guns and began darting, tagging, and affixing targets and cowbells to moose found walking down the trail. The cowbells made it easy to find the moose in the woods, and targets made it easy to identify individual animals.