Habitats are the environments where plants, animals or organisms live. Habitats vary greatly, existing in any size and any combination of living and non-living objects. Geology and climate are the two largest factors in creating habitats. Some of the habitats that are recognized are: forest (both coniferous and temperate), ocean, polar regions, wetlands, freshwaters, deserts, grasslands, mountains, tropical rainforests and coral reefs, each with its own unique features that make them hospitable for it’s residents. The largest habitat type, with approximately 50% of all species, is the tropical rainforests.
There are many threats to habitats. Climate change, urban development, recreation, agriculture and logging are all continuing to threaten habitats. Unfortunately, when habitats are threatened, the plants and animals that live there are also threatened. If a species is on the brink of extinction, loss of their habitat may push them over the threshold. Although many plant and animal species are able to adjust to a change in habitat, it takes human intervention and conservation to keep the species viable if that species is threatened or endangered. Several organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, The Nature Conservancy and NOAA Habitat Conservation, are dedicated to protecting and restoring habitats, as well as educating the human population to do the same.