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January 6, 2012

137 Species Rely on Pacific Salmon

Source: Salmon Nation - hosted by Ecotrust

137 Species Rely on Pacific Salmon¨

By Ed Hunt

In evolutionary terms, it seems counterproductive. Wouldn't it be better if each fish lived to rear its young, and perhaps even get a second shot at spawning?
It turns out that Pacific Salmon, in their own way, are providing for their offspring. When salmon swim upstream, they are returning to the waters where they themselves hatched years before — their bodies plump with eggs as well as the bounty of the seas.
After spawning, they leave their nutrient-rich carcasses behind. Many of the microscopic creatures that nibble on the carcasses eventually become prey for the next generation of fish. And so the parents nourish the young.
But salmon provide more than an indirect food source for baby salmon. At least 137 different species — from grizzly bears to gray wolves — depend on salmon for part of their diet. Even trees and plants benefit from the nutrients brought back by salmon from the seas.
It is awe-inspiring when you think about it. This mighty fish struggles up stream, jumping waterfalls, and its last act is sacrificing its body to ensure that the community that will raise its children will be thriving, teeming with life.
Which begs the question, what are we doing for our community, for the next generation?
Imagine what could be accomplished if we devoted our energies to the future the way that salmon do. Imagine if you will, a Nation of such salmon-people, leaping great obstacles to make a better place for their offspring and their ecosystem.

                                                            Get the poster! Featuring the fun artwork of Shannon Wheeler, 
and the above essay.Download here [1.4 mb]

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