The wolf plays a vital role in the well-being and proper functioning of the ecosystems. They exert a profound influence over the ecosystem that in their habitat. Wolf packs help create a healthy environment for not only themselves but for other animals and also the environment. After wolves were about extinct problems began in these environments. Other animals such as moose, elk and other animals big and small over browsed the plants and shrubbery and it created a problem with erosion. When this happened the waters and aquatic animals were also lessened because there was no shade and streams seem to dry up quicker.
A wolf’s place in the ecosystem is of a predator. For example, wolves prey on deer as one of the many animals they feed on. If wolves weren’t there to prey on these animals and feed on them then there would be too many deer and there would not be enough food in the environment to feed all the deer and they would starve threating their species with extinction. It would also in return make the plant life not as abundant for other animals who feed on it also and they could threaten their species as well. Wolves help keep that delicate balance in nature. Steven Prince of the United States Fish and Wildlife Services stated that with the absence of wolves in the environment it upsets the balance of nature. David Langhorn who leads the Wolf Education and Research Center of Idaho also agrees that wolves are a milestone in the effort in the balance of nature. Wolves are a major component of this balance just as all animals and plants have a place in the ecosystem. (Wolf Adventures, 1996, video)
Native Americans respected, honored and praised wolves. They called wolves their animal brothers because they shared the woods and plains with wolves as fellow hunters whose success as their own depended on teamwork.
Wolf legend is not like a wolf’s reality. Some societies considered wolves’ evil that larked in the night. The very name wolf carried a sense of dread. Wolves were considered savages and people tended to look at wolves in many ways. Some considered them to be devils. Wolves are considered very agile, misunderstood, ferocious and unpredictable animals. At one time there were more wolves than any other land mammal. (Wolf Adventures, 1996, video) For many years wolves were shrouded in mystery they were not understood and this kind of thinking is what led to an almost destruction and extinction of wolves in North America. But most did not know and understand the importance of wolves to the environment.
Wolves are considered very multifaceted animals, they are very caring, affectionate, and playful and one of the only animals in North America dependent on a social unit that is cooperative and devoted to its pack.
The lifecycle of a North American wolf is more unique and fascinating than most animals. But more importantly the purpose for a wolf in it's environment is more interesting. It is amazing the framework that wolves live and the home and family they create. They live by a social structure that keeps the pack together and successful. Not only do wolves keep their own pack healthy and successful but they weed out the old, sick or weak of other species by hunting them making that species stronger. Wolves also help other animals benefit from their kill such as small birds, mice and other animals that feed on the leftovers. This is helpful to their well-being especially in the winter time. By the creation of more generations of wolves it will help ensure the animals, plants and the ecosystem as a whole will continue to thrive. Wolves play an important role in the conservation of the natural world.