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The Amazing Ways Wolves Change Rivers

The Yellowstone National Park in the United States is considered one of the most beautiful and revered parks to visit. But what everyone may not know is that the park has been through a lot to become what it is today.

Wolves were extinct from 1926 onwards because of habitat loss and extermination programs. And because of the negative effects this had on the ecosystem, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian biologists made the effort to reintroduce wolves in 1995. They captured 14 wolves in Canada and brought them to Yellowstone National Park. Over the new few years, the wolf population began to increase. Not only that, but the national park’s entire ecosystem began to transform.

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With the loss and reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, their role as a keystone species was realized. When the wolves were introduced back into the park, they created what scientist call a trophic cascade. They’re a top predator in the national park, but their existence is important all the way down to the bottom of the food chain.

Deer populations exploded when the wolves became extinct, and despite human efforts, the deer heavily grazed the park to the point where most of the vegetation was stripped. When the wolves were introduced, they not only began to prey on the deer again, but also changed their behaviour in where they would graze. The deer could no longer could graze freely in the park. The valleys and gorges became high risk areas for the deer and so they avoided them. As a result the plants and trees began to grow.Read More

Take a look at this amazing video.

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