Can a Fish Save a Whale?

By Leda Huta
Executive Director, Endangered Species Coalition
October 16, 2015
I have been watching Cosmos a lot. It’s got wide appeal in my house — children and adults are equally enchanted. Cosmos reminds me of our connection to all living things — all of us born of stardust. I hadn’t thought about that in a long time.

Most of us don’t dwell on the mysteries of the universe, but they matter. Our interconnectedness, in particular, matters for people — and for wildlife out there in those wild places. Some species are more linked than others. In Malcolm Gladwell’s world, we’d call them “connectors.” In science, they’re called “keystone species.” These animals, and even some plants, have a large impact on the creatures surrounding them — so large that the habitat would be fundamentally different without them.

Salmon are amazing connectors; they connect to more than 190 plants and animals. So when salmon go missing, it’s like the life of the party has suddenly disappeared — everyone feels it. It may not surprise you to learn that salmon are an important food for orcas, sharks, sea lions, seals, otters, and bears…

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