The mountain lion lives in mountains, wetlands, woodlands, and deserts. Big cats need a vast area because they're territorial. Mountain lions ruled the U.S. before hunting and human expansion.
Sea otters live on seafloors, rocky coasts, and wetlands. They want kelp and food. Top predators in a nearshore ecosystem, they discourage sea urchins that destroy kelp forests, a food source and home to other marine animals.
Reindeer and caribou help Arctic environments. Indigenous peoples and predators devour the animals. Herd animals improve soil quality and circulate nutrients, including plant seeds, to preserve ecosystem plant structure.
Northern woodlands need snowshoe hares. Many predators eat hares. Snowshoe hares control predators and increase reproduction.
Grizzly bears support forest ecosystems. Large animals reduce prey numbers and overgrazing. Bears' diets spread seeds and minerals. The fish carcasses they leave behind provide nitrogen to the soil as they migrate.
In mountains, woodlands, deserts, meadows, and tundra, grey wolves live. Predators devour overgrazing herd species like elk and deer. Their prey carcasses feed other animals.
Beavers are important to wetlands. Beaver dams create a biodiverse habitat for other species. Their dams keep rivers and streams full year-round, providing a home for fish that feed other creatures.
North American plains have prairie dogs. Hawks, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, badgers, and golden eagles are nearby. Seeds germinate quickly in their holes and tunnels. Animals burrow in prairie dog holes.
Small, fast-flying birds migrate throughout North America. Hummingbirds pollinate, nourishing plants and animals. Plant-helping mutualists Hummingbirds drink nectar and disperse pollen.