Why Habitat Landscapes?

Why are habitat landscapes important?

When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.” ~ David Orr

It isn’t just the opinion of Habitat-Landscapes that habitat landscapes are important.  It is the belief of experts across our country and throughout the world that we are not taking care of our environment.  We are taking all the land for urbanization and destroying wildlife's natural habitats.

Did you know that almost half of the world’s forests are now gone?  According to the University of Michigan, deforestation is “the long-term or permanent conversion of forest cover and its transformation into another land use.” When we allow deforestation we create habitat fragmentation, which in turn results in wildlife extinction.  Wildlife simply cannot survive among manicured lawns crisscrossed with paved roads and sprawling office communities in a sea of concrete.  Wildlife needs housing, food and water... where can they find this in a typical urban environment? Hint: In your habitat garden.

In 1900, 60% of the population lived in rural areas and by the year 2000, only 17% of our population remained in rural areas.  An astounding 83% of the population now lives in cities or suburbs which are growing closer and closer to each other. You only have to look at NASA’s map of nighttime lights to see how close together everything has become.

By the numbers:

  • There are 4 million miles of paved roads.
  • There are 40 million acres of urban and suburban lawns which are dedicated to alien grasses.  Alien grasses are not a food source for pollinators.
  • Only 5% of land remains undisturbed habitat.
  • In 2014, the N. A. Bird Conservation Initiative identified 233 bird species in need of conservation action.
  • In 1990, up to 1 billion Monarch butterflies migrated but now only 33 million remain as reported by Monarch Joint Venture.
  • In 2014, almost two-thirds of beekeepers reported yearly losses greater than the 18.9% level that beekeepers say is sustainable. The Xerces Society's Project Bumble Bee is an excellent resource on protecting our bee populations.

Our urbanization has excluded wildlife from our living spaces because of lack of planning, not because of our need for survival.  We practice no control over expansion and we sacrifice wild lands in the name of progress.  If we continue to take away the housing and food sources wildlife need to survive, we will not have them to enjoy nor to support our very own survival.

Most species will live quite nicely alongside us - if we meet their most basic ecological needs.

Why do these numbers make a difference?  Why is this such a crisis?  Besides the sheer enjoyment natural habitats and the wildlife who live in them provide us, the human food chain depends on wildlife.  Pollinators (bees, birds and bats) are key to our food supply.  80% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals.  35% of the world’s crops depend on pollinators. 

It is not too late to take action and the really good news is you can help.  How?

  • Plant native trees, grasses and flowers
  • Provide housing, food and water sources for wildlife
  • Maintain landscapes without using herbicides or pesticides
  • Support conservancy efforts

Contact us today to find out how to get started with your own habitat landscape!