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Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > ecology: habitat: homes for wildlife

Habitat: Homes for Wildlife

Sample of wooded habitatHabitat is any place on the earth that contains everything an animal needs to survive and reproduce. This includes obvious things like food, water, air, and shelter, but it may also include many other factors such as temperature, rainfall, and soil type.

Each animal is equipped to live its life under certain conditions (the same can be said for plants). For instance, woodpeckers need dead and dying trees that provide insects to eat and soft wood for drilling nest cavities. Meadowlarks live and nest on the ground in open, grassy areas. You will not find a woodpecker perched on a fence post in the open prairie, nor will you see a meadowlark peeking out from a nest cavity in the deep woods. The habitat just isnít right for them.

Habitat loss is probably the greatest single problem facing wildlife today. As habitat is destroyed or altered by human activities, wildlife species are forced to find new areas of habitat, adapt to life in different types of habitat, or die. Some species are able to adapt; some become extinct.

Wildlife conservation is directly linked with habitat conservation. If habitat is available, wildlife will be there. By conserving, restoring, and creating habitat, we ensure that a variety and abundance of wildlife have places to call home.

Prairie - photo by Phil Seng

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