Yellowstone National Park was plagued by defoliation, erosion and an unbalanced ecosystem, but everything changed when wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995. A wolf standing in a river next to its prey in Yellowstone National Park. The land of Old Faithful wasn’t always so lush. Two decades ago, Yellowstone National Park was the victim of defoliation, erosion and an unbalanced ecosystem. But in 1995, everything changed. That was the year wolves were reintroduced to the park. Before then, government predator control programs had all but eliminated the gray wolf from America’s lower 48 states. Consequently, deer and elk populations increased substantially, resulting in overgrazing, particularly of willows and other vegetation important to soil and riverbank structure, leaving the landscape vulnerable to erosion. Without wolves, the entire ecosystem of the park suffered. A short film, which has garnered more than 40 million views on YouTube , gives a captivating explanation for Yellowstone’s turnaround. British writer George Monbiot lends his voice to this documentary, and his zeal is infectious as he describes how wolves reinvigorated the park. “We all know that wolves kill many animals, but perhaps we’re slightly less aware that they give life to many others,” he […]

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