Major discovery: Wolves help trees grow, rivers flow, countless species flourish (video)

Wolves
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

It might not seem obvious at first, but wolves can have a huge indirect effect on ecosystems. They aren't just good for reducing deer populations and such; they fundamentally change how these herbivores behave, where they graze and which areas they avoid. This means that trees and plants start growing again in places that were overgrazed, giving shelter to all kinds of species (songbirds, beavers, rabbits). This in turns changes how the local ecosystem works further, providing more ecological niches to more species, until after a few years the area is almost unrecognizably more alive! All this thanks to wolves, this underrated apex predator!

Check out the great video below to see the chain of events in action after wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone after an absence of about 70 years:

But remember: This isn't just about wolves. Apex predators everywhere are under threat - just think of sharks - and this will cause negative ripples across all ecosystems...

Via National Geographic

Tags: Animals | Animal Welfare | Endangered Species

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