Many organizations fighting for the environment and animal rights are warning about the actions of humans on the natural habitat of animals. For them, human deeds are the reason for the extinction of many species of animals and the endangerment of many others. Talking about the natural habitat of animals, we could easily understand that it’s their place of living. But what actually does this term encompass?
Conceptual definition of habitat
Habitat could be defined as the natural environment of an organism. That environment should present all the conditions, whether biotic or physical needed by the organism to survive and sustain. It means not only a good temperature, light intensity, presence of food but also absence of predators and good condition for reproduction.
Main components of a habitat
As you can see in the definition, many elements are combined to provide a viable habitat. We could encompass them into four components.
Food and water
Food and water are obviously the first components of a viable habitat, since this need is vital. The soil of the habitat should be rich to provide food for herbivores. For carnivorous, the habitat should provide preys. A water source should also be available.
Shelter is also an essential part of a habitat. As temperature and predators could be sometimes a danger, a place to protect species is essential for their survival. A perfect shelter for an animal could be a thick brush, or a few rocks piled together.
As for humans, being in a confined area could be very bad for animals. Firstly, a combined space means limited food since food is in most cases in the living areas of animals. Finally, limiting spaces is not good for nesting nor for mating.
There are a lot of environments where animals could have a proper shelter, food and water, and also space. However, these environments can’t be considered as habitat as long as all those elements are not suitably arranged in the same area.