Why The Beaver Should Thank The Wolf By Mary Hannibal

968 WordsDec 1, 20174 Pages
Not many people understand the seriousness of endangered species. Some sources go as far as trying to prove that the act does more harm than good. They do not realize how drastically their lives can be changed if one part of the food chain is taken away. In the essay “Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf” by Mary Hannibal, the essayist explains that a group of environmental nonprofits would challenge the federal government’s removal of Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming. Hannibal does not explain the Endangered Species Act, but according to the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration it “provides for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of…show more content…
An ecosystem is a community of interacting organisms and their environment. If one of the organisms is disturbed, it can change the trophic cascade which is a sequence of impacts down the food chain. Hannibal supports this statement by writing “keeping these connections going ensures healthy, functioning ecosystems, which in turn support human life.”(578) An example of this is if all of the beavers died the other organisms would go somewhere else or die due because they no longer will have dams to support their ideal habitat. Many organisms in their ecosystems benefit when their predators are around. In paragraphs 4, 5, and 6 Hannibal provides many examples of how having predators is beneficial to the ecosystem. One example is in paragraph 4 when she says; ...elk and other browsing animals behave differently when wolves are around. Instead of eating greenery down to the soil, they take a bite or two, look up to check for threats, and keep moving. The greenery can grow tall enough to reproduce.(578) Because of this, the animals in that ecosystem are able to thrive. Hannibal's main points in these paragraphs point out that there is a specific job for each animal in the food chain which has a direct effect on its ecosystem if something changes. A change could cause a degraded ecosystem which would be far less productive overall. In paragraphs 8, 9, and 10 Hannibal explains an example of sea otters eating the sea urchins which protects

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