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How Wolves Change Rivers

Lesson created by Kim Preshoff using

Video from Sustainable Human YouTube Channel

Let’s Begin…

How can the addition or removal of one species have an impact on other species?  Watch and learn what happens to an entire ecosystem as wolves are reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park.

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Aldo Leopold author of Sand County Almanac wrote Thinking Like a Mountain in 1949, and discusses the impact of wolf removal on an ecosystem.  Read his article and ponder the lessons we have learned or not learned since then.  

The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the United States proved to be both beneficial and controversial.  Read about the initial reintroduction in 1995 at this site.  Watch national Geographic's: "Wolves of Yellowstone and "Yellowstone:  The Return of The Wolf," for more on what led up to the amazing results seen in the lesson.  For the scientific perspective on all of this, listen to Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist at Yellowstone to hear more about the story.  

George Monbiot, environmentalist talks on TED Radio Hour at NPR and tells more about this controversial National Park Service move, then listen to his TED Talk:  For more wonder, rewind the world.  

Want to learn more about individual wolves and their stories?  NPR has what you are looking for:  06 Female tells the history of a female wolf born in 2006 who became a legend. Stunning photography accompanies this story:  Wolves At The Door, that discusses the challenge of two predators in one location:  humans and wolves.

Have you been left wondering what happens when any top predator like lions, tigers, and bear (oh my!) are removed from an ecosystem?  Yale Environment 360:  The Crucial Role of Predators,  has your answer.  William Stolzenburg, author of the book, Where the Wild Things Were,discusses more about trophic cascades in this article.

Want more about top predators?  Go to this TED Ed lesson:  From of the top of the food chain down:  Rewilding our world.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."  by John Muir is one of the most famous quotes describing the interlinking of all aspects of nature.  This is true about every ecosystem on Earth.  I hope that through learning about the environment you will continue to protect those links that are so vital to the survival of species on Earth.
Avatar for Kim Preshoff
Lesson Creator
Williamsville, New York, United States

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