How much impact can the loss of one species actually have on an ecosystem (the other living organisms and natural features in a given area)? After all, most species have become extinct during the history of life on the Earth. As you explore this week’s resources, you may gain a stronger understanding of how the loss of a species can impact the survival of other species. Biologists that study ecology have discovered that the decrease or loss of particular species has a much greater impact on an ecosystem than the decrease or loss of other species. Species with a much stronger influence in their ecosystems are called keystone species.
For this week’s Discussion, you explore and analyze one keystone species, the gray wolf, and its influence on the ecosystem in and around Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Then, based on your analysis, you recommend a policy to benefit this particular ecosystem.
To prepare for this Discussion:
With these thoughts in mind:
Post a 1- to 2-paragraph response to the Discussion Spark.
****DISCUSSION POST SPARK QUESTION*******
Identify an effort to protect a species in the region where you live. Why does the species need protection? Do you think this effort is important? Why or why not? Include a picture of the species if possible.
Important Note: The Discussion Spark and the weekly Discussion topic below will be graded together. You will see one score in your My Grades area.
Post a recommendation (at least two paragraphs long) for a policy that benefits the ecosystem in and surrounding Yellowstone National Park in which you:
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