How Wolves Change Rivers

Nature’s ability to regenerate and heal itself is tremendous. Even after we have already done our bit to destroy forest cover, release toxic gases into the air, pollute the land we live on, and escalate global warming, nature still searches for ways to delay Doomsday a bit further. But unless we decide to cooperate with mother earth and conserve the environment, our planet doesn’t seem to have much of a future.

An amazing example of nature’s miraculous self-healing property is of course what happened in the Yellowstone National Park after scientists released 14 wolves there. Not only did they transform the ecosystem of the place, but also the entire geography. Watch the video to find out how the pack achieved the impossible!

Wolves had been extinct for 70 years in the park

The deer population had increased to large numbers and destroyed much of the vegetation, having grazed off the forest cover. With no one to hunt the deer, human efforts to reduce the population proved futile.

The wolves changed the behavior of the deer

Once the wolves were introduced, the deer population decreased. The deer, in fear of being hunted down, began to avoid certain places which then began to regenerate. Barren valleys became tall forests.

In some areas, the heights of the trees quintupled in just six years

Songbirds and migratory birds were invited

Attracted by the verdant forests, birds started to come in, and their numbers began to increase steadily.

Bird

Beavers, rabbits, mice and badgers joined the party

The wolves worked as ecosystem engineers, creating niches for other species. Beavers loved to eat trees, and the dams they built across rivers became new homes for ducks and otters and muskrats. The wolves, meanwhile, hunted down coyotes, which of course meant more mice. Hawks and badgers joined in, followed by the bald eagles and ravens who came to feast on the carrion left behind.

Mouse

Bears got extra berries

Bears found ample sources of food. Liked the wolves, they helped to keep deer population under control. Plus, the regenerating shrubs provided them with more berries.

Bear

Even the rivers began to change

New channels and pools were formed, creating better habitats. The rivers began to meander less. Erosion decreased, and the vegetation stabilized the riverbanks. The whole area of land was transformed.

Rivers began to meander less. There was less erosion

In short, the wolves changed both the ecosystem as well as the physical geography of Yellowstone for the better. Indeed, a pack of wolves actually managed to work a major miracle that was undreamed of. This, of course, proves that with a bit of nudging nature can indeed recover even from the worst calamities. Feeling inspired yet?

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Credits for screenshots to Sustainable Human’s original video: http://en.newsner.com/they-released-14-wolves-into-a-park-what-happens-next-is-a-miracle-and-proves-that-we-must-take-care-of-our-amazing-planet

Here are some ways you can make a powerful difference in making the earth a better place:

1. Conserve natural resources: be aware of how you use natural resources and make small changes, be it switching off lights when not in use or opting for green building plans.

2. Plant more trees: actively encourage reforestation. Create a mini garden in your apartment or rooftop. Surround yourself with greenery.

3. Reduce consumption of fossil fuels: use renewable energy alternatives such as solar or wind power or change your daily habits. Instead of traveling in a private car, opt for carpooling or public transport.

4. Practice Composting: put plant and kitchen waste to a good use by enriching the soil and reducing pollution.

5. Swear by the 3 R’s: Reduce.Reuse. Recycle. Be as creative as you can.

6. Protect wildlife: join the local forest department or other environment groups to protect endangered and threatened species as well as their habitats.

So what are you waiting for? Share the video and spread the message of environment protection.

Featured photo credit: SUstainable Humand via Newsner via youtube.com

View more information: https://www.lifehack.org/430784/what-happens-after-releasing-these-wolves-into-the-park-is-a-miracle-and-it-tells-us-a-very-important-message

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