Should man interfere in Nature’s natural course

Recently, I watched an old video of how the reintroduction of wild wolves changed the landscape and life in Yellowstone National Park. It was a beautiful video of how the presence or the absence of a single animal can change the whole course of nature. The video scared me that the interference of man in Nature’s natural process can have such great and far reaching effects. For those who have not got a chance to see that video, check it out in YouTube. I will give a brief description of what transpired.

In the early 1900s, the wolves were the strongest natural predators, along with the grizzly bear, in the Yellowstone National Park. They killed elk, bison and other small animals for food. In the early 1930s these wolves were hunted and killed in the thousands for bounty. Since the last wolf died in American Yellowstone Park, many dramatic changes occurred. Some of the major ones were the declines in the forest cover, mainly the dip in the growth of the Aspen trees, soil erosion in the Lamar River, disappearance of the beaver colonies, disappearance of the songbird etc. These were all very worrisome indicators and the scientists and researchers could not explain all these changes simply with climate change or global warming. With careful study and after connecting all the dots, the researchers made a startling and controversial finding. All these changes were a direct result of the disappearance of the wolves.

Of course this finding was not accepted by many. Taking a major risk, the research reintroduced the wolves into the Yellowstone National Park after over 50 years. They faced a lot of opposition from locals, animal activists and the nearby communities. They still persevered; they brought in 31 wolves from Canadian Yellowstone Park. Within years of their reintroduction, the magic of nature could be seen.

Wolves create food source for ravens, eagles, countless insets and more

With the wolves hunting the elk and bison, the foliage got a chance to grow and prosper along the banks of the river. The carcasses left behind by the wolves meant more food for other scavengers like ravens, coyotes, eagles etc. even worms and insects prospered. This created food sources for the beaver and they came back to the Yellowstone. With growing forest cover and foliage, songbirds were back too. Though the changes were gradual, it all came together when the natural predators was back in place.

There are many such examples of human intervention causing problems and damage of nature’s course. Often, in our arrogance and haste to play savior, we intervene in the natural process of life, death and rebirth in nature. It is time we take a step back and accept that nature is a hard taskmaster, but a wise one too.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.

2 thoughts on “Should man interfere in Nature’s natural course

  1. Very true Aish. Man’s actions have a big impact on our environment. As a child I always enjoyed watching the sparrows. Hyderabad had many sparrows. These small brown birds always fascinated me. Today I don’t see any of them. Our city has become a concrete jungle, overflowing with high rise buildings and very few trees. To top this situation the twin cities have become worst than a factory’s chimney with smoke, dust and pollution from the vehicular traffic pumped into the air. Am sure most of us are having bird brains to still continue to live in this unhealthy environment and take no concrete action other than verbal complaints (not including those people who are actively involved in environmental protection activities and actively encourage others to do the same), but the birds have better brains than us you see. They have already moved in search of greener places to live in.

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    1. It is true, sparrows had almost disappeared from Hyderabad. Only recently, we were able to see them again partly due to the KBR park. We see them mostly in wooded areas like the AOC area in Secunderabad, Golkonda etc.

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