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Wildlife, Habitat and Species Preservation
An ecosystem is system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment. It includes the physical and climatic features and all the living and dead organisms in an area that are interrelated. These relationships between the plants,animals and the water, sun, wind,  soil and rock are dynamic, and all of them together form an ecological unit of nature.

The entire Mississippi River is made up of several smaller ecosystems, which in turn make up the larger system but all is interactive and interconnected. The river and its floodplains are home to a diverse population of living things. It is the most important flyway in the middle of the country; sixty percent of all North American birds (326 species) use the river basin as their migratory route.

Habitat fragmentation is frequently caused by humans when native vegetation is cleared for agriculture or development.  Habitats which were once continuous become divided into separate fragments.  Small fragments of habitat can only support small populations of fauna and small populations of fauna are more vulnerable to extinction. Fragments of habitat that are separated from each other are unlikely to be recolonised.

One popular solution to the problem of habitat fragmentation is to link the fragments by planting corridors of native vegetation. This has the potential to solve the problem of isolation but not the loss of interior habitat.  In some cases a threatened species may gain some measure protection from disease by being distributed in isolated habitats.

Another solution is to enlarge small remnants in order to increase the amount of interior habitat.  This may be impractical since developed land is often more expensive and could require significant time and effort to restore.

To find out ways to support healthy habitats, you can follow up on some of the links provided on this web site.

Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
2630 Fanta Reed Road
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54603
Phone: (608) 783-6451

 

 

One River Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quad Cities : Environmental Issues

June 24
2006