Wolves play a crucial part in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Something the ranchers, farmers and hunters forgot when they were exterminated from almost the entire United States.
In the meantime, other animal populations exploded and as a result, America’s wilderness was changed by the expanding populations of large mammals like horses, cattle, and deer.
Decades later and a lot of political wrangling by conservation biologists and activists who wanted to reintroduce wolves finally prevailed. The grey Canis lupus was reintroduced to in many areas such as Yellowstone National Park in 1995.
After being absent for almost 70 years, the benefits of wolves being reintroduced is immediately apparent. We all know wolves kill various species of animals, but perhaps most of us are less aware that they give life to many others. Before the wolves were reintroduced, the number of deer had built up because there was nothing to hunt them.
Despite the efforts of humans to control the deer, they managed to reduce much of the vegetation to almost nothing. As soon as the wolves arrived not only did they start to kill some of the deer, but their presence of radically changed the behavior of deer and other animal species. As a result, areas of Yellowstone started to regenerate.
Watch as the environmental activist and a writer George Monbiot explains in this short film.