Episode 504 – Keystone Species and Habitat Destruction

Ecologists worldwide increasingly recognize the relationship between keystone species and habitat destruction. But what surprised many was how the loss of  just one of these species would result in the collapse on an entire ecosystem.

Sean B. Carroll’s book The Serengeti Rules  explores the macro- and micro-environments where this natural balancing mechanism occurs and introduces readers to their keystone species and the scientists who study them. The animals and their environments come alive in the stunning photography in the award-winning film by the same name that documents the work of these scientists who were way ahead of their time. And in case you missed them, here’s one of the several videos on the effects the reintroduction of wolves had on the Yellowstone Park ecosystem.

The sea otter is another keystone species to whom many other marine species owe their existence. In this era of accelerated climate change, habitat destruction, invasive species and new diseases, identifying and  preserving those keystone species and their habitats becomes more difficult every year.



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