One of the most exciting scientific findings of the past half century has been the discovery of widespread trophic cascades.
A trophic cascade is an ecological process which start at the top of the food chain and tumbles all the way down to the bottom.
One classic example is what happened in the Yellowstone National Park in the United States when wolves were reintroduced in 1995.
We all know that wolves kill various species of animals, but perhaps we’re slightly less aware that they give life to many others!
Before the wolves turned up – they’d been absent for 70 years – the numbers of deer (because there had been nothing to hunt them) has built up and built up in the Yellowstone Park and despite efforts by humans to control them they’d managed to reduce much the vegetation there to almost nothing. They just grazed it away…
After the wolves in Yellowstone Park
In 1995, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Canadian biologists, captured 14 wolves and placed them in Yellowstone National Park, where they had been extinct since 1926.
Over the next few years, the number of wolves rose, as usual… but that was only tiny change that took place in Yellowstone Park.
The effects were more striking than anyone could have expected!
The entire ecosystem of the national park transformed and it went so far that even the rivers changed!
How is this even possible?!
Watch the video and marvel at the amazing way in which nature works!
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