How Wolves Saved the Foxes, Mice and Rivers of Yellowstone National Park
By Caeleigh MacNeil
The land of Old Faithful wasn’t always so lush. Two decades ago, Yellowstone National Park was the victim of defoliation, erosion and an unbalanced ecosystem. But in 1995, everything changed.
That was the year wolves were reintroduced to the park. Before then, government predator control programs had all but eliminated the gray wolf from America’s lower 48 states. Consequently, deer and elk populations increased substantially, resulting in overgrazing, particularly of willows and other vegetation important to soil and riverbank structure, leaving the landscape vulnerable to erosion. In the absence of wolves, the entire ecosystem of the park suffered.
A film, which has garnered more than 18 million views on YouTube, gives a captivating explanation of Yellowstone’s turnaround. British writer George Monbiot lends his voice to this short documentary, and his zeal is infectious as he describes how wolves reinvigorated the park…
(read more: Earth Justice)
photograph by Crackerclips Stock Media/Shutterstock