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How Wolves Change Rivers In Yellowstone National Park

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Wolves have always suffered from a bad reputation.  We learn about how scary they are early on even as children about how they terrorized Little Red Riding Hood and the three little pigs.

Hunting in packs, they have been depicted as one of the most dangerous animals in the forest.  They are also known for their bone chilling howls especially during a full moon.

This video, entitled “How Wolves Change Rivers” will change your perception about them.  An ecological process called trophic cascades was observed in Yellowstone National Park when wolves were reintroduced in 1995.  According to Wikipedia, "trophic cascades occur when predators in a food web suppress the abundance or alter the behavior of their prey, thereby releasing the next lower trophic level from predation (or herbivory if the intermediate trophic level is a herbivore)."

The introduction of wolves in the national park has had a dramatic influence on other animals such as elk, bison, eagles, and beavers, to name a few.  As the narrator says, “we all know that wolves kill various species of animals, but perhaps we’re slightly less aware, that they give life to many others.”

Aside from the wolves effect on other animals, they have also changed rivers in a profound manner.  Watch the video below and find out how.

YouTube/Sustainable Human
Wikipedia/Trophic Cascade