“There is a rhythm to nature. If you remove one piece the rhythm is interrupted. It’s called a trophic cascade.” Mike Phillips
Mike Phillips is a wildlife restoration expert. He is mostly known for spearheading the effort to reintroduce gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park.
Being a wildlife restoration expert is another way of saying he is an expert on systems. Phillips studies how one part effects the whole.
“There is a food pyramid. The less common, larger predators are at the top, such as gray wolves, or great white sharks, and the more common species elk and other animals below. If you eliminate the wolf or the sharks, you disrupt the equilibrium of the entire system” Phillips
Phillips reintroduced the gray wolf to Yellowstone after they were nearly extinct for hundreds of years. Before the wolves were reintroduced, the lowlands of Yellowstone were ravaged by the proliferation of elk. This effected the fauna, birds, and beavers. Riverbanks eroded diminishing water flow and force. But once the wolves were reintroduced, even though they were few, they were enough to change the behavior of the elk. The elk migrated to higher ground where there was more cover. This allowed the low land to recover. Aspen and Willow trees were able to grow to maturity. Bird and beavers returned. Eventually, the banks of the rivers shored up and the migratory patterns recovered.