BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone park officials say bison numbers are down from last year, but still remain in a healthy range.

The park's 2018 bison population status report states there are about 4,500 bison in the park, down by about 6 percent from the 2017 count.

Park biologists conducted the count during flyovers in August.

Park officials say a population between 4,200 and 4,500 is ideal.

The park has contained the bison population with two consecutive years of big culls.

More than 1,200 were removed in the winter of 2017. Last year, 1,171 were removed.

The report recommends removing between 600 and 900 bison this year to keep the population at roughly the same size after calving season next year.