8 Major Causes of Habitat Loss

Imagine one day waking up to the realization that everything you’ve ever known has abruptly altered. You no longer reside in the house you’ve known your entire life.

You find yourself in a foreign territory and the roads are very different, making navigation quite difficult. There are certainly major causes of habitat loss.

Some components could easily harm you all around you, and there is no way to escape. It would be a tragic and terrifying situation, and many people wouldn’t make it out alive.

But because their habitats are being destroyed, this is what happens to the wildlife and underwater species every day.

Numerous animals lose their homes as a result of our use of natural resources. By definition, habitat destruction, often known as habitat loss, refers to the act of destroying the natural habitats of wildlife.

Typically, there are three types of habitat loss. Habitat destruction is eliminating all trees and plants from the area, which drastically alters the terrain. A good illustration of this is mass deforestation caused by the removal of trees.

Another way that habitat is lost is by changing the landscape in a way that confuses animals and interferes with their natural way of life.

When we build highways and put tourist destinations in the middle of forests and other natural areas, this is referred to as habitat fragmentation.

“A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant, or other type of organism. The term typically refers to the zone in which the organism lives and where it can find food, shelter, protection and mates for reproduction. It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds a species population. “


Although regions may not be fully destroyed as a result of habitat fragmentation, environmental turmoil nevertheless results. Animals can become fragmented and cut off from their food sources and one another. Both on land and in water, this occurs.

Structures like dams tend to isolate species from one another beneath the water, making it more difficult for them to reproduce and find food. The advantage of habitat fragmentation is lost for the numerous creatures that depend on migration to maintain their species.

The degradation of the habitat comes last. This type of degradation happens as a result of pollution, which degrades the quality of the air, water, and land while creating a haven for poisons.

Environment degradation makes it possible for species that are not a part of the ecosystem to colonize the region. They are known as invasive species, and they inevitably hasten the extinction of other creatures and plants.

As a result of these harmful environmental changes, species that were formerly native to a region start to disappear.

Major Causes of Habitat Loss

Given that habitat loss leads to the extinction of wildlife and adverse environmental effects, it is logical to wonder why we still practice practices that threaten biodiversity.

Here are the major causes of habitat loss.

  • Conversion of Land for Development
  • Water Development
  • Pollution
  • Changing Climate
  • Agricultural Sector
  • Drought
  • Natural Disaster
  • Urbanization

1. Conversion of Land for Development

Even amid the current economic crisis, properties that historically served as wildlife habitats are still being converted into industrial sites, parking lots, office parks, office parks, and strip malls.

2. Water Development

Water is siphoned off and disconnected by dams and other water diversions, which alters water chemistry and hydrology (when nutrients cannot flow downstream). By the time the Colorado River reaches the Sea of Cortez during the dry season, it has little to no water.

3. Pollution

Wildlife in freshwater is most affected by pollution. Pollutants including raw sewage, mining waste, acid rain, fertilizers, and pesticides concentrate in rivers, lakes, and wetlands before making their way to estuaries and the food chain.

4. Changing Climate

Climate change is now recognized as the main cause of habitat loss. The American pika and other animals that require the chilly temperatures of high elevations may soon run out of habitat. As sea levels rise, coastal species may discover that their habitat is underwater.

5. Agricultural Sector

Farming is now a massive business that can be managed by giant businesses, unlike in the past when little plots of land were used to raise crops for families and local communities.

It also demands the mass production of goods that can be sold for profit fast. More land must be cleared to grow more food, which requires additional land.

6. Drought

Drought is one of the major causes of desertification and this leads to a massive loss of biodiversity and habitat. When there is low water availability in specific areas or no water at all, then that area is suffering from drought and this is dangerous because both plants and animals need water to survive.

When there is drought, the predominant species in the area migrate to a suitable area for their survival only those which can adapt to that condition would stay and these species are very ew.

With the absence of enough species in an area, the area becomes deserted and plants would die off because no water attracts more sunlight to sensitive areas which would kill off some other delicate species consequently leading to habitat loss.

7. Natural Disaster

Natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, landslides, tornados, earthquakes, and tsunamis, cause habitat destruction. This happens after the disaster has occurred.

Here, there is a destruction of the previous habitat and a creation of a new habitat making the inhabiting animals and plants in that area either die or migrate to a favorable location and drawing new species who could adapt to the location to inhabit the area.

8. Urbanization

We decide to clear land for substantial structures and to make a place for financially successful attractions. Not all habitats are destroyed to use the land for human habitation. To utilize their materials to keep us comfortable, they are also destroyed.

For instance, wood is used to make furniture and other objects, while trees are utilized to produce a variety of paper products. To accommodate more enterprises and major corporations, habitats are being lost.

When you consider how many homes, businesses, and other structures there are, you can see that a significant amount of land is taken up by these structures.  Where there was once only wildlife and natural environments, many of them now stand.


Knowing the causes of habitat loss, we must with a joint effort combat this menace as we are affected either directly or indirectly by these habitats. If our habitat is destroyed, what shall we do?


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | providenceamaechi0@gmail.com | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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