Habitat & Species
An Ecosystem Approach
'An ecosystem can be defined at the most basic level as a natural unit of living things (animals, including humans; plants; and micro-organisms) and their physical environment. The living and non-living elements function together as an interdependent system - if one part is damaged, it can have an impact on the whole system.
'Ecosystems can be terrestrial or marine, inland or coastal, rural or urban. They can also vary in scale from the global to the local. At the international level, examples include rain-forests, deserts and coral reefs. Closer to home, we might think more in terms of different types of habitats (e.g. woodlands, grassland, marshes, heathland, rivers, peat bogs, rocky shores), though this can also extend to the urban environment (e.g. parks and gardens, rivers and streams). In many cases, ecosystems overlap and interact.'
To halt the loss of biodiversity and rebuild our species rich habitats we need to support the species and habitats in the context of the ecosystems they sit within. This means working at a landscape scale to improve habitat connectivity and deliver appropriate networks to meet the present and future needs of species and habitats. (Please see the Biodiversity Opportunity map for information on the landscape scale areas identified in this strategy.)
It also means ensuring that the habitats contain the niches needed to support the associated with them. This integration of the conservation action for habitats and species is essential. However, this will not cover the needs of every species. The species that are not covered by this integration (generally the rare locally isolated species) are being identified presently. For these species specific actions will be identified and held in the species section of this site.
Please note that further information will be added to this website in due course for other habitats and species. If you would like to contribute to this information please contact Tom Butterworth.