Habitat fragmentation is the alteration of habitat, which results in the division of a continuous habitat into smaller, isolated fragments. While natural causes can contribute to habitat fragmentation, humans are the main cause. Human activities such as roads, mining, agricultural land conversion and urbanization contribute greatly to fragmentation. Habitat fragmentation has a greater effect on terrestrial animals as they have to cross human inhabited areas and roads to reach the habitats and resources they depend upon. This leads to road kills and human-wildlife conflict.
Plantations are an important cause of habitat fragmentation in the Western Ghats. The image shows habitat fragmentation due to tea plantations bordering Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), located in the Southern Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.
Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
Habitat fragmentation -- the breaking up of large contiguous habitats into smaller pieces due to various man-made causes -- is deemed to be one of the most serious long-term threats to the survival of many species.