When Life's a Struggle, Try Adding Wolves

In the mid-1990s, Yellowstone National Park faced numerous problems:

Thinning animal populations Deforestation and erosion Imbalanced ecosystems

But with one simple change, they set off a chain reaction of events that allowed the park to heal, replenish, and thrive once again.

That one change? Wolves.

Wolves, which had been eradicated from the area 70 years prior, proved to be an essential part of the ecosystem.

Reintroducing them to Yellowstone began to slowly change everything.

Grazing species such as elk, which had become overpopulated, returned to normal and adjusted their migratory patterns.

With the elk on the move, plant life near riverbeds recovered, stemming erosion.

As water ecosystems healed, beaver colonies began to recover, too.

Their dams supported habitats of many insects, fish, birds, and amphibians.

Leftover carrion from wolf hunts also fed numerous scavenger species including bears and large birds.

Their populations grew and thrived.

Coyotes, an apex predator in the absence of wolves, returned to a more balanced population.

Foxes, rodents, and antelope were grateful.

Nearly 30 years later, the benefits of reintroducing wolves continue to unfold. Through this miraculous recovery, Yellowstone offers us all an invaluable life lesson.

Sometimes, we all face what feels like a mountain of unrelated problems. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by it all, like there's no way to solve everything.

But life's challenges aren't always as unrelated as they seem. Sometimes they are connected like a long line of dominoes, and you just need to tip over the first one to start a chain reaction.

When you're struggling, you never know what might be the wolves your life is missing, that can start a process of improving everything. So make sure to keep exploring, keep showing up, and keep trying new things to see where they go. 

Swipe up to learn more about finding your missing wolves!