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 wolves 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 that 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 reintroduced 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.
Introducing 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 1930s. That was a sad time because it denotes the extermination of the grey wolf from Yellowstone. When the grey wolf was killed off over 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 beaver’s 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 affect the Yellowstone habitat. Other impacts on the region came from enormous fires like the catastrophic fire of 1988 or the warmer weather. There are several things that can cause a variety of change possibilities. Scientists acknowledge that ecosystems are very complex as everything is related.
Normally scientists 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 wolves 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.
Some about Bears
All animal babies are cute, a good example is 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 it protects them 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?
Being a bear is not all that easy, but you have to admire the perseverance of the cub in this video.
To think some people want to kill cubs in the den.
Grizzly bears like a varied diet. When possible the Grizzly will hunt deer, elk, moose, and even bison. He is brilliant 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.
A video on the different bears that exist.
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 recently, this proposal is completely out of whack. How on earth can there be a president with no sense of beauty, not wanting to preserve everything Mother Earth offers for our future generations?
Lately, he has come up with a new and awful idea. Here you can read about it. Actually, what can one expect from a human who stubbornly denies Global Warming? Humanity has still a long way to go.
Have a look at the following video on wolves being released into Yellowstone Park.
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 organic waste from the man-made.
- Think about your water use, water belongs to everybody.
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.
I recently saw this video, and it made me very sad. The clock is ticking, and it seems we are not aware of it. What will future generations think of our actions? We are destroying their habitat, the habitat of our children and grandchildren.
Recently, the Grey Wolf was taken off the endangered species list. Not everybody is happy about that.
Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations. It is a special page I made for you with a collection of things you might find interesting.
Source: Brodie Farquhar for the My Yellowstone Park website, Wikipedia, and Friends of the Earth
Photo Source: Pixabay
It is very sad, so many negative things are happening in our world. Normal people do not take care of the environment and when the leaders of the countries are not a good example either where does that lead to? Perhaps you like to read my post on some other crazy idea.
Wow, such an eye opening article.
Honestly, I believe that humans shouldn’t interfere in any way with the very vulnerable eco-system. Everything is just in the way it should be and who we are to decide that it needs a change. Great example with the wolf and Yellowstone. Simply by killing wolfs your are not only affect elks but you will affect a whole park. I hope this article will reach out to as many people as possible and governments wake up and protect the only treasure they have – nature.
Good afternoon Eugen,
It really is a shame that wherever humans go they normally make a mess of things. It will still take a very long time before we learn that interference often upsets the natural balance of Mother Nature.
In this case, at least, it was recognized that by reintroducing a missing species things could turn for the better. Normally nature knows what it does, we are the ones who need learning.
The problem is too often that human greed gets in the way putting $$ over common sense.
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website, I hope to see you again.
This is such an interesting read. It’s impossible not to like anything related to the environment or the balance of nature. For a casual observer, destruction or removal of a species from a location simply disturbs the foodchain. But one is mostly unaware of how everything is interconnected and how one’s survival is crucial to another specie in the chain. The Yellowstone wolf example you have cited profound and it was interesting how this single event set off a chain reaction that affected every species in the whole ecosystem. This example can be extrapolated to other systems outside of the Yellowstone. We are all connected. It’s important to keep the balance of nature. Thanks for a lovely post.
Good afternoon Sukumar,
Flora, Fauna, and us humans are all one belonging to the same creation. The problem has always been that we, humans, like to interfere, change, destroy, but we have not learned yet to respect all and allow it to occupy its rightful space.
Thank you for saying you thought I had written a lovely post, you made my day. I hope to see you again and thank you for your visit.
I wasn’t aware that having beavers around was a good thing! Shows how much I know about these animals. Thank you for bringing that to my attention! Also, I had n0 idea a Yellowstone wolf existed before now! They look very fluffy for a wolf. The elk looks just like a dear, and I guess its a different kind of dear isn’t it?
Good afternoon Jayde,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. Beavers are really useful animals and that is why it is good they are back. Baby wolfs are fluffy and cute. Big wolfs will shed hair depending on the season, something like winter or summer coat.
Now your question about deer versus elk. While they are both from the deer family, they are both different species. Deer, talking about whitetail or mule deer, are far smaller than elk. Elks are animals which live much longer.
Hi Taetske. You, my friend, certainly aren’t crazy. Unfortunately the senerios you discuss in your blog are all to common the world over. In my beautiful country of Australia the gorgeous Koala bear, that cute little harmless animal, is in danger of extinction due to heavy losses of its natural habitat. I absolutely loved your story on the grey wolf in particular. It’s sad that we as humans had to find out the hard way the damage we had caused by its removal from Yellowstone. Yet it’s a blessing that scientists may have come up with a solution by simply returning them to their original home. The only thing that worries me is, do you think we have left our actions to rectify issues the world over, to late? Jim
Good afternoon Jim,
I am all happy to hear I am not crazy. My better half Michael, who emigrated from the U.S. to Spain and is learning Spanish tells me I have cables cruzados=crossed cables.
I know about the poor Kuala bear, all these huge fires have destroyed its habitat. When it is not fires, we put some effort destroying habitats., really a sad picture.
Normally one says it is never too late but some things are destroyed on our planet and there is no way of going back. The only thing one can do is to try and make people aware of it. Our future generations, in case there will be any, have a right to inherit a beautiful planet.
Thank you for your comment. I have not yet visited my birth country. I was born in Australia in 1950.
Unfortunately, there are idiots out there who think they know best when it comes to mother nature.
While some animals are considered dangerious (especially the wolf ane bear), they help remove other animals so that other species can thrive, as you’ve pointed out.
I think keeping the balance is highly important, especially to keep the nature side of life alive. All it can take is for one or two species to be wiped out by humans and it can lead to a negative domino effect on wildlife.
If it wasn’t for the wrong people in power, mother nature would probably maintain the perfect balance. So many folks should really think about the leaders and goverments they’re voting into power.
Good Morning Neil,
I fully agree with you. There are too many idiots out there devoid of feelings for Mother Nature. Those people are a danger to our planet as their decisions have far-reaching effects. The money made now can never be an excuse for destroying Flora and Fauna. The effects of those deeds will be visible for thousands of years. Often it is not possible to repair the destruction caused by humans. At least in Yellowstone, something good happened by reintroducing the wolf. The balance was restored and all of nature could thrive again.
Thank you for your visit, I hope to see you again.
Keeping the balance in nature is crucial, as when there’s no balance it will affect the future of other animal species. It’s a chain reaction. I didn’t know the grey wolf had disapeared in Yellowstone in the 30’s. Thank God they’re back now, because besides keeping the balance, they’re also beautiful animals.
Good Morning Jurgen,
All animals as they are part of creation should have their rightful place. The interference of humans more than often results in a mess. What happened in Yellowstone Park shows that realizing a mistake and mending it can have a great result. I am also happy that balance was restored.
Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment.
Great info and such a great cause. We all must be more responsible for our earth and hold those with power to a higher standard with more accountability. I will definitely be sharing this post with friends and my eco mom group. Keep bringing valuable info and awareness- you have a gift!
Good afternoon Rachel,
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
Thank you for sharing my post on your eco mom group, is that FB? On my other website, healthyantiagingalternatives I write about health-related issues. I have 3 posts on babies. 60 Chemicals in diapers, Smart diapers, and Nuts for baby brain development.
It’s very detrimental to human existence as well as nature to lay harmful hands-on animals or even move them from where they should be normally.
Also seen from another angle, it can be the sustainability of another species, so it’s always good to consider keeping a balance. Keeping a strong balance of the species will help the chain. Thanks.
Good afternoon James,
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulips widget.
When you look at the world there are so many things wrong. Most of these negative situations are man-made.
At the rate it is going it really does not look good for the future generations. When the laws which are meant to protect are being removed from the books it becomes clear we are going in the wrong direction.
It is very important that we keep the balance. It is because of humans that an imbalance has taken place. It is not everyone, but the vast majority of us are careless and selfish, so much so, that if we want something we will stop at nothing to get it.
It is amazing to know that one animal’s absence can throw an entire ecosystem out of wack. I am a nature person, no I don’t camp, but I do enjoy nature walks. Not many people stop to think.. “What if there isn’t any nature to gaze at anymore, or walk through?” We must stop and think of our future. And help keep the balance.
Good Morning Yekeiseaya,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulips widget.
I agree with you that the human race is selfish. Often also very destructive not caring what our actions bring forth. Since I have my 2 websites, it is nearly 3 years, my world view has changed considerably.
There are many good people in this world who try to repair the damage but on the other side, there are too many who do not care and/or are only interested in money. It is a sad picture.
We are so lucky to live in such a special and beautiful world, yet we are often responsible for damaging habitats or even harming animals. We need to take responsibility for the world we live in and the actions we take. I love to watch animals in their own environment and they deserve to live there.
Good Morning Nicholas,
I fully agree with you on that we should be grateful to live in such a beautiful world. Often human ignorance and greed destroys this beauty. We do not owe the planet; we are allowed to be here for a while with the obligation to maintain it for future generations.
Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.