By Angela Tooley
Most of us consider the lion as the noble animal. We think of these beautiful, stately creatures as the king of the animal kingdom. So, it seems strange to think of a wolf as noble. “The big bad wolf” comes to mind as in the Three Little Pigs, or Little Red Riding Hood! Well it is true that wolves kill, but we are far less aware of their life-giving function in nature.
Just over twenty years ago, Yellowstone National Park’s efforts to control the overpopulation of deer were failing. Overpopulation had allowed the deer to graze away almost all vegetation.
After a seventy-year absence, wolves were reintroduced to the park. While they did kill some deer, they radically changed deer behavior. The deer began avoiding the valleys and gorges where they were most easily trapped. This allowed the regeneration of trees and shrubs. Songbirds returned. Beavers, otters, muskrats, hawks, weasels, foxes, ravens and bald eagles could return because new forests allowed new habitats to be made. Even bears came to eat the berries off the trees.
Perhaps the most fascinating result – the course of a river changed! Regenerated forest stabilized the banks. There was less erosion and less meandering of the river’s course. An entire ecosystem and its physical geography were transformed. Because of some wolves.
Are you a wolf? Yes, if you’re a parent, a grandparent, aunt, uncle or godparent. Yes, if you are a teacher, coach, minister or mentor to young people. Obviously, I don’t want you to kill, but I do want you to realize the major impact you have on young people
Like a wolf you will promote the growth of habitat by:
- Educating youth about healthy sexual values and making wise choices
- Providing a stable environment at home, in churches, schools, and extracurricular activities
Like the presence of the wolf, your presence can intervene in the lives of your kids and their friends by:
- Removing threats using filters as well as monitoring all computers and mobile devices
- Observing their social media habits
- Protecting from abuse
Like the changed river course, your presence will have an impact for generations to come.
You can do this! Blessings!
Monbiot, G. (2014, February 13). How Wolves Change Rivers. Retrieved from Monbiot.com: http://www.monbiot.com/2014/02/13/how-wolves-change-rivers/