HABITAT LOSS

Here is a general overview of habitat loss…

TEDDYBEAR CHOLLA
TEDDYBEAR CHOLLA CALIFORNIA

A habitat is an ecological or environmental area colonized by particular plants or animals. What is habitat loss? Habitat loss is damage to a living area of multiple species. It is the leading cause of threatened, endangered, and extinct plants and animals. There are three types of habitat destruction, from bad to worse. First is “degradation”, where a habitat becomes polluted or invaded by a non-native species, whether it is a plant or animal. This interrupts the area and starts a chain of events, where a habitat eventually cannot support itself. Next is “fragmentation”, when a large habitat is broken up into smaller pieces, which can cause loss of resources, such as food, water, or mates. And last and worse case is “destruction”, the total damage or instant destruction to a living area of multiple species.

SPHINX MOTH
SPHINX MOTH NEW MEXICO

The main causes of habitat destruction are agriculture, forestry, urban development, water projects, and fossil fuels. These all cause various forms of pollution. Some of the types of pollution are defined as follows: Land pollution is waste left on the land surface or exploitation by digging up land, coal mining, or development of some kind. Water pollution can come from sewage, oil, chemical, and nuclear waste spills. Air pollution can be in the form of smoke and gases. Thermal pollution happens when water is used as a coolant by power plants and industrial manufacturers, which then goes back into the environment at a higher temperature causing water and land temperatures to rise. Radioactive pollution comes from the contamination of nuclear power plants, improper nuclear waste, and uranium mining.

WHITEFACE RIVER MINNESOTA
WHITEFACE RIVER MINNESOTA

The collective effects are loss of species (trees, grass, animals, insects). The loss of resources (food, water, mates). Pollution as a form of habitat degradation (land, water, air, thermal, light, noise, and reactive).

BROWN PELICANS
BROWN PELICANS SOUTH CAROLINA

Some individual solutions are to stay on trails. Do not litter, use the “carry out what you carry in” rule when in the great outdoors. Get educated. Use your votes to get the right people in the political system to protect the endangered habitats. If some of these practices can be put in control, the earth can eventually fix itself.

The photos are of lovely places and wildlife in the U.S., that I would like keep protected from habitat destruction.

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