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February 12 2013

The return of grey wolves 'not enough to restore Yellowstone's ecosystem'


Grey wolves have returned to Yellowstone National Park, raising hopes that the area's ecosystem has bounced back. But the reintroduction of these mighty predators isn't enough to enable a full recovery, scientists say.

In the early 1900s, wolves largely vanished from Yellowstone. In their absence, elk which were no longer hunted by wolves ate more willows by streams. Without enough food or material to build their dams, beavers also declined. That made the willows' situation even worse, because willows depend on beaver dams to raise water tables.

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