Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 26, 2011

How The Wolves Have Changed Yellowstone

Oregon State University published a study on how the reintroduction of wolves has changed Yellowstone National Park. It is a great example of how changes in one species effect many others.  Some highlights of the study were:

  • fear of predation led to a decrease in the Elk population
  • a decreased Elk population led to the recovery and increase of trees and shrubs including aspens, cottonwood and willows
  • increased trees and shrubs along streams provided improved habitat for fish and beaver and more food for bears and birds
  • increased beaver populations leads to more beaver ponds
  • Wyoming streams with beaver ponds leads to very large increases in  waterfowl
  • as the wolf population increased the coyote population decreased
  • decreased coyote population resulted in increased populations of small mammals resulting in more food for red fox, ravens, bald eagles and other birds and mammals

Read the article and see a YouTube video at the Oregon State site: Yellowstone transformed 15 years after the return of wolves | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University.


  1. […] recently wrote in How The Wolves Have Changed Yellowstone on the positive impacts the increased wolf population has had on other species at Yellowstone. A […]


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