Keystone species in North America

Otters inhabit seafloors, rocky beaches, and marshes. Kelp and food are wanted. Top predators in a nearshore habitat, they deter sea urchins that destroy kelp forests, a marine mammal food source.

Sea otters

Mountain lions thrive in mountains, wetland, woods, and deserts. Big cats' territorial nature need a large environment. 

Mountain lions

Kangaroo rats live in deserts with minimal water. Small creatures are vital to the ecology. They control plant life by eating plants and distributing seeds in their burrows. 

Kangaroo rats 


Caribou and reindeer aid the Arctic. Natives and predators eat animals. Herd animals increase soil quality and distribute nutrients, including plant seeds, to retain plant structure.

Snowshoe hares are crucial to the northern woodland environment. Hares are an important part of the food chain since they are prey for numerous carnivores.

Snowshoe hares

Grizzly bears support forest ecosystems. Large animals reduce prey numbers and overgrazing. Bears' diets spread seeds and minerals.

Grizzly bear

Grey wolves live in mountains, woods, deserts, meadows, and tundra. Predators eat herd species like elk and deer, whose populations can overgraze an ecosystem.

Grey wolves

Beavers help wetlands. Beaver dams generate biodiverse habitats. Their dams keep rivers and streams filled year-round, giving fish a home.


Prairie dogs roam North American grasslands. Golden eagles, hawks, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, and badgers are close. In holes and tunnels, seeds germinate quickly. Prairie dog holes are burrowed.

Prairie dogs

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