>> In 1800 there were around 60 million buffalo in North America. By 1890 this number had fallen to 750. The Plains Indians (Arapaho, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Kiowa, Sioux, Arikara, Mandan, Osage and Pawnee) had now no means of independent sustenance and had to accept the government policy of living on Indian Reservations.
In the 20th century the buffalo became a protected species and now number about 80,000.
By the 1880s over 5,000 hunters and skinners were involved in this trade. It is claimed that the killing of buffalo was supported by the U.S. military in order to undermine the survival of the Plains Indians << .