Yellowstone National Park
In the 1920s wolves were eradicated from Yellowstone National Park, meaning the park was wolf-free for almost a century. Suffering from fires in 1988, these devastated the area, where at the time there was only one beaver colony. As of 1995, scientists introduced wolves back into the park to curb the rising elk population where in the past, snowfall every winter was relied heavily upon to do this job. This benefitted scavengers such as eagles, grizzly bears and coyotes.
This gave scientists the opportunity to study the result of returning a top predator into an ecosystem. The result of the reintroduction was overwhelmingly positive, changing the parks rivers and landscapes, predominantly moving elk away from water sources. This led to the recolonisation of beavers, songbirds and riverine vegetation to Yellowstone’s waterways. Beavers discovered a new food source, building new dams and ponds, resulting in a flourishing beaver population of now nine colonies. The result of this reintroduction left many scientists dumbfounded by the vast web of life effected by wolves.