What Is Habitat Destruction?

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According to the National Wildlife Federation, habitat destruction occurs when human activity drastically changes or destroys any natural ecosystem. Habitat destruction reduces the food, water and shelter that is available to support wildlife.

Habitat destruction threatens wildlife species and is a primary cause of endangered species. Building, mining, drilling, new highways and water projects all destroy habitats. Habitat destruction does not always look like destruction. Filling in a wetland makes it look more hospitable to humans but changes the ecosystem so that it no longer supports the native wildlife. Although roads appear minimally invasive, they break up large tracts of habitat and reduce the amount of area for a species to roam. This limits the number of available mates and the size of the territory available for raising young.