• Nandini Goswami

Habitat Degradation on Mountains

Mountains are very popular places to visit, but their ecosystems are so fragile that they cannot endure much tourist activity. In addition, moneyed tourists look forward to luxuries that further exhaust the environment.

The weather and the organisms on mountains rapidly change as elevation increases. As temperature decreases, species change and then become scarcer before disappearing entirely. At the top, there may be nothing but snow. However, even these empty landscapes are home to diverse species of plants and animals.

Mountain habitats have been largely protected. As people have moved towards the mountains, in order to recreate and to obtain valuable resources, mountain ecosystems around the world have vulnerable to mass destruction.

The Andes. The Rockies. The Alps. The Pyrenees. The Alaska Range. The Himalayas. Mountains cover a large part of the Earth’s surface and encompass some of the most unique ecosystems. Their impressive structures bring out a sense of power and wonder. The headwaters of every major river originate there, and the hydropower from mountain watersheds provides us with a considerable amount of the world’s energy supply. They provide us with valuable resources. Thus, mountains are extremely essential, but it is not only humans that find a home here.

The development of urban sprawl in recent years has driven ecological deprivation in ecosystems around the globe, disintegrating the natural areas and replacing the natural vegetation in the developing world. This lays down significant tension on lower elevation biological communities, which by merit of

actually being closer to expanding urban cores, feel the consequences of this sprawling most. This leads to the displacement of wild species and a decrease in canopy cover. Similarly, the evolution of agricultural practices in lower elevation communities, including overgrazing of fields following land conversion. This further leads to habitat fragmentation, soil erosion, biodiversity losses, and land degradation.

● Combat habitat loss in your community by creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat near your home, school, or college.

● Plant native plants and put out a water source so that you can provide the food, water, cover, and places to raise young that wildlife needs to survive.