Do not upset nature’s balance, as it will have consequences
Have you ever seen a baby wolf? They are quite small and weigh only 1 pound. They can not hear or see. Baby wolfs have round heads with small ears. On top of this, they have little or no sense of smell.
Would you hurt such a beautiful and defenseless baby? Would you want anybody to harm such a tiny creature which forms part of creation?
What the wolf means to Yellowstone Park
There is a very interesting study of the Yellowstone wolf and its surprisingly positive impact on nature in general. When the grey wolf was re-introduced into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 1995, Yellowstone Park could only boast of one beaver colony. The sound of a beaver slapping its tail on the water, as a warning to other beavers, would rarely be heard in the park. The introduction of the grey wolf changed that and more. A survey taken in 2011, documents there are now 9 colonies of beavers with this growth trend increasing.
To understand these changes one has to go back to the 1930’s. That was a sad time because it denotes the extermination of the grey wolf from Yellowstone. When the grey wolf was killed off more than one species suffered the consequences. Of course, elk living in the park were happy, because it removed one predator from the list they would have to worry about. The list of animals that would hunt elk would include bears, cougars and also sometimes coyotes. But in general, the elk population grew because of less stress and safer feeding grounds. An elk likes to feed on young willow, aspen and cottonwood plants. Before the removal of the wolf, elk would be constantly on the move, and their eating habits did not do too much damage. Now with an increasing population and no fear of being in the open, elk herds would inhabit the wetlands and destroy the stream banks by eating the willow saplings allowing more erosion and physical damage simply by their increased numbers. Too many elks in one spot would destroy the beaver habitat by over-consumption of the beavers food supply and wreck any dams the beavers would build. Yes, beavers would eat the saplings but a nibbled tree will make new sprouts, ultimately it was the excessive number of elk that made the regenerative cycle impossible.
The busy constructor
To have a lot of beavers is a good thing. They are great at building dams and ponds. The constructed pond slows the velocity of the stream allowing saturation of the local groundwater table. This will raise the water table and soon, cottonwoods will line the stream and their roots will draw more water up from the depths. The fish living in the streams will find cold and shaded water surrounded by cottonwood and willow trees. Cool water is a requirement for many fish species to spawn so an increase in the beaver population will promote better groundwater availability, higher fish populations, an increase in mature trees and a welcoming habitat for birds of all kinds.
The disappearance of the grey wolf wasn’t the only thing to impact the Yellowstone habitat. Other impacts on the region came from big fires like the catastrophic fire of 1988, or the warmer weather. There are a number of things that can cause a variety of change possibilities. Scientists acknowledge that ecosystems are very complex as everything is related.
Normally scientist report on the diminishing of the species and the resulting changes. In this case, scientists were happy to discover a healing ecosystem resulting from the reintroduction of one key species. When elk are killed by a wolf, it does not only provide food for them but it also provides a food source for other animals. The carrion left behind by wolfs feeds scavengers like ravens, eagles, magpies, coyotes and even bears like the grizzly or black bear. When a bear wakes up from his winter sleep he obviously is hungry as he used up all his fat reserves. There you can see how important it is to keep this natural balance. There is a place for all species and humans should not interfere. Their actions are upsetting the natural state of order.
Source: Brodie Farquhar for the My Yellowstone Park website
Some about Bears
All animal babies are cute, a good example being a baby bear. There are 8 bear species worldwide. Sadly some bear types have become extinct already.
- Ailuropoda microta = dwarf giant panda
- Tremarctos floridanus = Florida spectacled bear
- Ursus arctos californicus = California grizzly bear
The menu of a bear
What do bears eat? The black bear mainly eats plants and berries with some insects thrown in for good measure. The black bear is not a strict carnivore but eats meat when it can. (Only the polar bear is a strict carnivore.) The black bear prefers to steal meat from other predators because they normally do not hunt for meat themselves. Black bears like to steal honey. It is good that they have a thick fur coat so they are protected from bee stings. When the black bear wakes up from his hibernation he is starving so he will fill up on young tree shoots and nuts which he steals from squirrels food hiding places. One can call him an opportunist.
By the way, did you see that amazing film “The Bear”, if not do look it up as it is so interesting?
Grizzly bears like a varied diet. When possible the Grizzly will hunt deer, elk, moose and even bison. He is very clever at fishing trout and salmon from the rivers and tops his menu with wild beans, grass, nuts, and insects. They do not always sleep thru the total winter and some do not sleep at all.
Keep the balance
Knowing how important it is to keep a balance, why do humans, once again, try to destroy this balance. Destroy it because of utter ignorance.
I subscribe to the newsletters of Friends of the Earth, and they reported on some awful news again. Reporting recently, the land theft of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by the Trump Administration, and giving priority to gas and oil drilling, now it is happening again. A new proposal will give green light to hunters to kill wolf pups and bear cubs in their dens. This will destabilize nature in Alaska’s national preserves. As with Bears Ears, where important fossil finds were discovered lately, this proposal is completely out of whack. How on earth can there be a president without any sense of beauty, not wanting to preserve everything Mother Earth has to offer for our future generations? Actually, what can one expect from a human who stubbornly denies Global Warming? The human race has still a long way to go.
What can I do on a personal level?
- First of all not vote for such destructive leaders.
- Bring such issues to the public’s attention.
- Try to live as organic as possible on my farm, reuse plastics, and separate the organic waste from the man-made.
There are a lot of little things we should all do on a daily basis. If done by many it will have a positive impact on our world.
Source: Wikipedia and Friends of the Earth
Photo Source: Pixabay
Perhaps you like to read my post on some other crazy idea.