One pack of wolves completely changed a National Park in the most astounding way
70 years ago, the wildlife officials at Yellowstone National Park took a big gamble. Elk and deer populations had exploded with no natural predators to thin their growing numbers, and the larger ecosystem was suffering greatly. River banks were disappearing and eroding at much higher rates than ever before, and with tree sizes on the decline, smaller mammals such as foxes, rabbits, and bird species of all sorts were dwindling as well. Park officials reintroduced a pack of wolves, about 14 of them, back into the wild on the park grounds, and they never could have predicted the effect it would have on the land. With elk and deer herds shrinking due to the wolves’ increased hunting, all of the other local animal populations slowly returned to sustainable and normal levels. Not only that, but with the overall grazing of the elk and deer down across the board, the local rivers began to return to normal as well. Banks strengthened themselves, more pools started to form, and with the rising water sources available, trees started to grow much larger, bringing bird populations back in huge numbers. Just goes to show you that all animals, even predators, have their place in nature’s ever-changing balance.