Owl Shack - scops owl Christmas

Habitat fragmentation means taking a larger block of land and carving it into smaller pieces.  An example of habitat fragmentation would be taking a larger forest stand and blazing a new road or pipeline through it, which creates openings and edge in a once dense stand of trees.  Internationally speaking, many species of birds that need large tracts of intact habitat are in serious decline because it’s becoming harder and harder to find.  Common bird species that can live in clearings and along forest edges tend to be increasing in numbers.

Avoiding habitat fragmentation will benefit a lot of birds including owls.  Short-eared Owls and bobwhite, for example, need large unfragmented grasslands.  Many treetop songbirds need large unfragmented forests.  The ivory-billed woodpecker, likely extinct, is a perfect example of this.  One pair of ivorybills reportedly needed a minimum of 10,000 acres of contiguous mature forest habitat to survive, which is nearly impossible to find today and one reason why the species no longer exists on the planet.

On your property, avoid fragmenting that native pasture or that patch of woods at all cost.   Instead, work to add that new road or pipeline along existing edges instead of removing important wildlife habitat. This will keep wildlife habitat larger, more intact, and better for a lot of declining species.  Do it for the owls.

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