Destruction of Our Habitats

How Urban Development is Hurting Habitats

Changes in the Population

Changes in human population definitely have an impact on this subject. With more people being born, more houses are needed to keep them sheltered. Then, also with the increase, comes a bigger demand for products. Factories, stores, restaurants, and the like are put in to give the people food, clothing, gadgets, and everything else consumers buy. Then, where does it leave the animals and plants in the forest they cleared out to put in those new McDonald's, that new Walmart, and the new neighborhood? Either homeless, or dead. Kinda harsh, but true.

Does Density Matter?

Definitely. As I stated above, the growth of a population can cause a demand for more materials to suffice for all the new life. So, that leads to more clearing of forests, and practically ripping up living beings and their homes. Just imagine, your house being torn up from its foundation. This is what we are doing to animals when we take out their habitat, just so we can have that new trendy shopping mall that everyone's been talking about. Going along with a population's density increasing is habitat fragmentation. This occurs when the whole habitat isn't destroyed, but is still pretty much unfit to sustain any life in it. This is also a big issue with urban development.

Short-Term Effects

Animals could be left without a home because of urban development. But, there is a chance they could migrate and find a new place to live that is similar to where they were previously. Littering is another short-term effect, because us people can actually do something about it. If you see trash, pick it up. Because you never know where it may end up, it could potentially be very harmful to an animal.

Long-Term Effects

Ok, here's the doozy of them all. There are way more long term effects than there are short term. First of all, air pollutants are a huge issue with urban development. Whether it be from a factory, fossil fuels burning, construction equipment being used, all of these things can contribute to air pollution. Then, there is the issue of pollutants being put into the water. There are literally specific waste lagoons where people are meant to dump animal waste. And also there can be hazardous chemicals dumped into the water, or oil spills, which take forever to clean up. Along with the air pollutants can also come acid rain which is very harmful in general to the environment anywhere. Lastly, we have the problem of pesticides on farms. These hurt the plants, humans who eat the plants, and the animals who typically eat the plants. It can also just hurt humans being near treated plants. There has been much research into the effects of pesticides on humans, and there is a laundry list of them, as we have gone over in class.

What can YOU do to help?

Just be more conscientious of what you do. Think of the impact it will make on the environment. So, for example, instead of taking your car, bike places. And, instead of littering, just throw your trash away when you get to a trashcan or recycling bin. Yet another way you can help is by cutting the plastic rings on six packs of soda. You may not realize it, but leaving those rings intact could choke an animal wherever your trash ends up. You could cut off the faucet when brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, batch your errands to save gasoline, et cetera. There are so many simple ways you can help the environment, and you don't even realize how simple they are. Even if we can't help the whole world all at once, you can at least start in your city or town.