Habitat fragmentation is "a process of environmental change important in evolution and conservation biology. As the name implies, it describes the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment (habitat). Habitat fragmentation can be caused by geological processes that slowly alter the layout of the physical environment or by human activity such as land conversion, which can alter the environment on a much faster time scale." "Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds," the folks at the US Geological Survey (USGS) say. "Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds."
TreesForLife.org adds: "A decrease in the overall area of habitat is serious enough, but when combined with fragmentation, it can undermine the integrity of whole ecosystems. Roads, urbanization and agriculture are among the main human activities which break up natural areas, often with disastrous implications for wildlife.
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