Share: Wolves Start an Ecological Cascade That Shapes Yellowstone Rivers (video)

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I don’t have any stories that focus on wolves in my collection of more than 300 stories of early travel to Yellowstone Park. In fact, mention of wolves is usually confined to reports of hearing their mournful howls in the distance. But I thought this video was so interesting that I’d share it anyway.

Before they were re-introduced to Yellowstone in 1995, they had been gone for about 70 years. When the U.S. Army took over administration of the Park in 1886, the ended hunting — except for predators. On the mistaken assumption that it would benefit other mammals like like and deer, government hunters set out to eradicate animals like wolves and mountain lions.

Removal of the top predators affected the ecology of the park in unexpected ways. Their reintroduction — as this video makes clear — is changing things back.

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— Photo taken from the video.