The earth’s surface is made up of a series of interconnected habitats and ecosystems, all of which are under severe threat. Human impacts, including climate change, poaching, over fishing, land conversion and urbanisation pose threats to the immediate and ongoing welfare of the earth’s coral reefs, deserts, grasslands, wetlands, forests and marine habitats, as well as millions of animals who live within.
COMING SOON: Individual priority habitat pages.
› CORAL REEF
Reachable at depths of about 150 feet, coral habitats such as the Great Barrier Reef are home to thousands of different plants and animals – making them one of the most important habitats to protect. With concerns like global warming, coral bleaching, spread of disease and carbon dioxide release threatening the immediate health of the reef, sustainable initiatives must be implemented in order to protect them.
Occupying around one third of the world’s landscape, forests are home to a variety of species, including the iconic orangutan, tigers, bats, snakes, bears, wolverines and owls. Serious threats to forest lands include unsustainable forestry, climate change, gas and oil drilling, urban construction, emissions and land clearing – all of which result in a heavily fragmented habitat no longer suitable for wildlife.
Divided into four major basins (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic) the ocean covers approximately 70% of the planet. Made up of shore lines, mud flats, rocky and sandy shores, tide pools, barrier islands, mangroves, and salt marshes, marine habitats support a large diversity of life from fishes, mammals to birds. Marine habitats are affected by offshore oil drilling, pollution, marine debris, climate change, overfishing and human destruction.
Found along two fringes parallel to the equator in both the southern and northern hemispheres, deserts are arid or dry regions that receive little more than 10 inches of rain annually, and are home to a number of plants and animals impressively adapted to life in dry environments. Military activity, global warming, grazing pressure, agriculture, nuclear waste and oil and gas production pose serious threats to these sandy habitats.
Sometimes called swamps and marshes, wetlands act like the kidney for other ecosystems, filtering and storing clean water. Acting as the connection of land to water, an enormous number of plants, birds and mammals rely on the wetlands, some for their entire lives, in order to survive. The creation of dams and channels and conversion to crop land threaten the livelihood of wetlands and the species who inhabit them.
Occupying around one quarter of the earth’s surface, grasslands are largely inhabited by roaming, grazing animals and can be scarce areas with few to no trees, or tropical. Conversion to agriculture following the emergence of steel-plow combined with urban development, overgrazing, climate change, poaching, land clearing and wildlife eradication pose serious threats to the ongoing well being of grassland habitats.