Farmington Missouri -According to the World Wildlife Foundation, ”When the gray wolf was reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, elk, the primary prey of the gray wolf, became less abundant, thus freeing certain areas from constant grazing. This respite has allowed willows, aspens, and cottonwoods to grow, and has created a new habitat for beaver, moose, and scores of other species. If one species in a food chain becomes extinct, it then creates a knock-off effect on other species. The loss of a main predator can actually cause the extinction of a prey species as greater competition presents a threat to a species.”
Ok, truth be told, it makes my head spin too, but it’s true all the same. We are all vitally interconnected with wildlife in ways we humans can’t begin to understand.
The tiger, for example, are at the top of the food chain in all the ecosystems it which they live. As such, it keeps populations of deer, wild pig, antelope and newly introduced animals in check. Without the tiger to control them, these species abound. These new uncontrolled populations then totally ravage food sources and cause vegetation impact on human populations. Now consider this: the Bali tiger, the Javan tiger and the Caspian tiger all became extinct in the 20th century.
There is a local business owner who is making a difference to preserve the tiger population and the species as a whole. Joe Scott, owner of Crown Winery and Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary is providing a wonderful service to us all, as well as a mighty fine experience for local wildlife lovers. We met up with zoologist Jeri Wright, program director and care giver of the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary (CRTS), to find out what’s up with tigers in Missouri?