Think about a landscape from your childhood. Perhaps it is an open field, a familiar road you used to travel often, or simply a public park you’ve visited a few times. Fast forward to now. Does that landscape still look the same? The answer is most likely no. By human nature and natural events, our landscapes and ecosystems unavoidably endure change– and sometimes that change is damaging. Enter Restoration Ecology: an essential practice in which landscapes of habitats are restored and renewed through planning, studying, and proper execution through biodiversity.
Biodiversity (biological diversity) measures the variations of life on earth. From genetics and species to entire ecosystems, biodiversity is spread across the planet. As drastic drops in biodiversity can lead to mass extinctions, both scientists and individuals feel a strong pull to keeping ecosystems alive– not just for this generation, but for future generations.
Ecological restoration is a practice that intentionally recovers damaged/destroyed ecology and ecosystems. Throughout time our world has drastically been affected by humans and natural disasters both intentionally and accidentally. Extinction rates have dramatically grown to a rate of about 1 to 5 species per year. Taking great strides to reduce this catastrophic rate, the scientific community takes up the mantle to restore such habitat loss.
Think of wild forests, wetlands, and rainforests. These ecosystems have protected areas for conservation and wildlife. When natural disasters such as forest fires, or tropical storms disrupt the land, plants and animals lose their habitat which leads to potential loss in species. Restoration Ecologists have environmental knowledge able to advise plans to fix our habitats after harm has affected the landscape. If we don’t fix these landscapes, we not only loose habitats, but we lose entire ecosystems of species and living organisms.
Dedicating their career to ecosystems entirely, Habitat Restoration Engineers are landscape planners that aim to restore. Habitat restoration engineers will partner with environmental scientists such as geologists, ornithologists, botanists, and more. These scientists form groups that look deep into ecological design and plan landscapes for conservation purposes.
Plants, animals, and other species rely on ecosystems keeping their habitats safe and healthy. Habitat destruction threatens species with extinction. In order for land to be viable for future habitats and ecosystems, it must be restored.
Now, you might be thinking that microorganisms and species you’ve never heard of before aren’t that important. On the contrary, humans depend on biodiversity. Plants give our world oxygen through photosynthesis. By large and small, every species in our ecosystems play a vital role in the natural world. Our planet needs these plants, animals, and organisms in order to thrive. When our habitats and ecosystems are full of life and health, our planet is a better place.