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Posted by on March 16, 2019

The wolves are known to play an important role in the promotion of healthy ecosystems. Since gray wolves are capable of keeping in check the populations of elk and deer, many animal and plant species benefit in the process. What remains of the carcasses they prey on help in the redistribution of nutrients and makes food available for different wildlife species. The beneficiaries in this case include the scavengers and grizzly bears.

Due to the reintroduction of the gray wolves into parks, unbalanced ecosystem, erosion and defoliation have become things of the past. These detrimental effects had been brought about by the increase in the populations of the deer and elks. As a result of the overgrazing in the willows and other types of vegetation that are vital to riverbank structure and soil, the landscape was left vulnerable to erosion. In the absence of the gray wolves, there was overall suffering of the entire ecosystem.

Since the gray wolves are top predators, they are essential in holding together the delicate balance that exist between prey and predator. When the animals were earlier removed, it led to a trophic cascade due to the disruption of food webs. The reestablishment of the wolves played a part in changing behavior patterns of the preys like the elks. Subsequently the herbivores started to avoid locations such as the gorges and valleys where the predators lurked.

Another advantage that has been brought about by the reestablishment of the gray wolves is the return of bears, mice, beavers and minds. The reason this occurred is because the areas underwent regeneration which also saw the decrease of erosion in significant proportions and the thriving of plant life found along the riverbanks. In the process the riverbanks caused streams and rivers to change course due to the stabilization.  You can  learn about The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project  here.

Among the beneficiaries of the process of reestablishment of the gray wolves are the scavengers. Species like the carrion feeders that include the magpies, bears and eagles thrive on the remains left behind by the wolves. A feeding strategy of the ravens is to follow the gray wolves closely and by feeding on the remains, they are able to make it through the food-stressed winters.  Click on this link to learn more

When the gray wolves were reintroduced into the landscape, there was increase in riparian vegetation. This led to decrease of ungulate browsing that has seen the recovery of the Apache trout which was hitherto threatened. The ecological and biodiversity health that the reestablishment bring should make a compelling case for wolf recovery and restoration wherever it is feasible.  Discover more here :


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