View the new online North American Bison Registry at
The North American Bison Registry (NABR), which is also the first bison species registry, lends credibility to breeding programs through an accurate and science-based record keeping system. The NABR was founded in 1980 and is a National Bison Association committee made up of scientists, bison ranchers, veterinarians and advisory council members; currently chaired by Connor Elliott, DVM – Noisy Crow Bison, Durango, Colorado. Email Dr. Elliott at

DNA Testing

Tracking and recording genetic information is a crucial management practice for a healthy herd and a great marketing tool when selling your animals, and the NBA has the tools to help you do it. Through the NBA’s North American Bison Registry (NABR), we offer 3 types of DNA testing for just $35/head. The first step is to obtain a herd prefix from the NBA, which is free by emailing, or by calling the NBA at 303-292-2833. The testing is facilitated through our partnership with the University of California – Davis. The NABR DNA testing service offers three types of DNA testing:

Parentage: used to determine exact parental lineage lines (i.e. multiple sire herds or large herds where pairing calves and cows can be difficult.) Please note, parents need to have been DNA tested previously to match any DNA data.

Hybridization: used to determine if cattle allele introgression has occurred within and animal or family of animals.

Gene(tic) Diversity/Historic Lineage: The percent of the total genetic markers recognized as historic lineage present in one individual of a particular species population.

How to collect hair samples:
For DNA testing, please pluck 20 – 30 tail hairs with good follicles on the end, which is what will provide good DNA analysis. Save those hair samples in a PAPER envelope (No plastic please), and properly identify envelope with animal identification. Keep in a cool, dry place and the sample should stay well preserved.

If you are collecting skin samples via DNA dart, please contact NABR Chairman Connor Elliott, DVM (816-724-5323) or Jim Matheson (303-292-2833) directly before collecting or shipping samples. If shipping, please mail to:

National Bison Association
8690 Wolff Ct. #200
Westminster, CO 80031

Please note that lab turn-around time for DNA tests is approximately 6 weeks.

North American Bison Registry Fee Structure:
DNA testing – all types – $35/head
Registry fee (13 months and older) – $25
Registry fee (Under 13 months) – $20
Registry transfer fee – $15 within 60 days of sale
Registry transfer fee – $30 past 60 days of sale
Conservation Herd Registry application fee – $110
Conservation Herd Registry annual renewal – $50

You can register animals online and order DNA testing securely and quickly here, or by calling the NBA office at 303-292-2833.

Downloadable NABR Forms:
DNA Certified Parentage Registry Form (For testing to register in NABR)

DNA Testing Form (Testing only – No registry)

Individual Animal Registry Form (Just for registering in NABR)

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more and answer all of your registry questions and see the complete NABR  bylaws here.

In 2016, the NABR adopted the following official position regarding modern bison genetics to educate media sources that publish misinformation on this issue, and to defend the reputation of ethical stewardship shared by all NBA members and producers today:
“Whereas the NABR charges itself with discovering and recording bison heritage, the inclusion of all remnant bison genetics is our mission to ensure that the future of bison conservation is secure. Until it is proven that absolute purity is significant, and can be indisputably identified, the NABR includes all Bison for their genetic contribution, but can exclude introgression occurring since 1492 , i.e. hybrids, by process of genetic testing and ethical management. The NABR is made up of scientists, veterinarians, advisors and bison ranchers who are dedicated to: ‘Preserving the Heritage of American Bison’”
Conservation Herd Registry
Producers are now able to register their foundation herds as a conservation herd, and thereby record the growth of their herds that are being raised sustainably while contributing to bison conservation.  A 18 X 24 gate sign [below] comes with registration to recognize your participation the Conservation Herd Registry. Cost to participate is a one-time $110 fee to support administration of the program, along with a $50 annual reporting fee.
See all the details in the Conservation Herd Registry Bylaws.

To participate, complete and submit the application.

Free Conservation Herd Registry Gate Sign: