What Is Habitat Conservation?

Jacob Queen

Habitat conservation is the attempt to preserve certain natural environments so that various animals and plants can continue to thrive. As the population of humans has increased on Earth, animals have sometimes been squeezed into tighter and tighter areas. Sometimes this has resulted in extinctions that have damaged the balance in different ecosystems. Conserving habitats usually is handled through the passage of laws and attempting to inform people about the threats to different habitats along with the possible long-term consequences of habitat damage.

A forest habitat.
A forest habitat.

Building and expansion are two of the reasons that people often threaten different natural habitats. This happens for several reasons, including deforestation for wood used in building and the amount of space that expanded human settlements tend to use. Habitat conservation experts urge people to find ways of building that put less pressure on natural environments and take up less space on the planet.

Natural habitats are threatened by deforestation.
Natural habitats are threatened by deforestation.

Farms are another thing that often puts a lot of pressure on natural habitats. Deforestation is often a big part of expanded farming, and this has become a big issue in certain parts of the world. People who are concerned about habitat conservation generally want people to find more environmentally sustainable ways of feeding themselves that don’t require as much land.

Another major way that people often threaten natural habitats is through pollution. Wherever people live, they usually leave a certain amount of toxic waste in the environment. For example, in places where people drive, the air generally will be somewhat polluted with carbon dioxide. Sometimes pollution can be more severe and include toxins that are immediately deadly to many animals in a given area. Habitat conservation activists are in favor of people living in a cleaner, more natural way that leaves less risk of industrial accidents.

Many people think of habitat conservation as something that is primarily about saving animals, and for some people, it is. Others see it as an issue of self-preservation. These people suggest that it’s very difficult for people to know what might happen if the ecosystem is damaged too severely. If there was an extreme disruption to the balance in a particular habitat, it could lead to a mass extinction in the animal population with far-reaching consequences that might affect humans in unforeseeable ways. When this particular argument for habitat conservation is presented, some people who might not be sympathetic to the cause could be persuaded to reconsider their position.

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