Wolves of Yellowstone By Elizabeth F.

Wolves have lived in Yellowstone National Park for a long time. The wolves disappeared from the park in the 1930’s, because ranchers were hunting them out. According to the video and article “wolf reintroduction changes ecosystem”, they were reintroduced in 1995 because, with the wolves gone, the ecosystem was unbalanced. The elk population was getting higher because without the wolves, there were very many elk. I think that the reintroduction of wolves was a great idea.

Yellowstone's sunrise

The Elk were a major factor in the reintroduction because without the wolves, they were eating most of the vegetation, so the other animals who relied on it went to a different area of the park. According to the article 'A Yellowstone Beaverstate of Elk’, “Two things happened: the elk pushed the limits of Yellowstone’s carrying capacity,and they didn’t move around much in the winter- browsing heavily on young willow, aspen and cottonwood plants. That was tough for beaver, who need willow to survive in winter.”

elk!

From the video ‘Wolf Reintroduction Changes Ecosystem’, “But as soon as the wolves arrived, even though there were few in number, they started to have the most remarkable effect.” By effect, they mean that it made a huge difference/ improvement to the ecosystem.

Yellowstone's falls

A downside to the reintroduction, if you think about it, would be what if YOU were the person doing all the work to bring back the wolves. It would take a very long time to get all them back from their other homes in other states around North America. It could also be tricky for the environment to get used to wolves again because they had been gone for 70 years since 1932.

Did you know that when the wolves came back the elk started avoiding certain parts of the area, because those were spots that they could get easily trapped? The vegetation that the elk used to be eating grew back, so the beaver population increased. With the willows, aspens and cottonwoods back, the songbirds started to increase.

One of Yellowstone's rivers

Conclusion

I think that reintroducing wolves was a great step for the ecosystem. From the video ‘ Wolf Reintroduction’, “ putting wolves back into Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding regions was considered the great success story in environmental movement.”

Bison and Buffalo

By: Elizabeth F.

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Credits:

Created with images by tpsdave - "yellowstone national park sunset twilight" • skeeze - "bison buffalo forest"

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