How Wolves Changed The Rivers In Yellowstone National Park
14 Wolves Were Released A Park. The Miracle That Unfolded Astounded Even The Scientists
Cailyn Finkel 1/11/2017
Our Earth is a precious and delicate thing - and without one species, the entire ecosystem is thrown into chaos. Nothing demonstrates this important structure more than what happened when wolves were reintroduced into the Yellowstone National Park after their 70-year absence.
The results not only restored the animal kingdom, but the nature around the park changed as well....
In 1995, Yellowstone National Park officials brought a small pack of wolves back to repopulate the area. Wolves had been extinct in the park since 1926, and officials had no idea if the wolves would survive - let alone thrive!
As the years passed, park officials and scientists monitoring the animals noticed that things inside the park were changing rapidly. The wolves restored nature to an equal balance!
The pack had what's called a "trophic cascade" effect on the park. They hunted the wildly overpopulated deer, and without the deer to graze the land down to nearly nothing, plant life started to grow exponentially.
Without the deer to overgraze near the river beds, the land became much more stable and the level of soil erosion decreased drastically! The shape of the rivers began to stabilize and flow in a distinct pattern - instead of tearing through new soil constantly!
This lack of erosion which plagued the park in the decades prior meant otters, beavers, ducks, muskrats and a variety of amphibians now had a reliable place to live.
The most remarkable part about the overall stabilization of Yellowstone National Park is the fact that it was all due to the reintroduction of a small pack wolves! This is proof that our Earth is a complex and fascinating place.