Habitat Protection

Habitat fragmentation refers to ruptures and discontinuities in an organism's preferred environment. Habitat fragmentation is often linked to (caused by and encourages) human economic activity: road development, land conversion, urbanization, resource exploitation. It can damage native populations through a variety of mechanisms, decreasing available land and resources for survival, introducing invasive species and potential threats, and isolating sub-groups from one another. 

The human organism can be seen to operate in a similar way to natural ecosystems: the more fragmented the landscapes of our mind and body, the more depleted we become. Our internal resources become depleted, we become more vulnerable to potential threats, and our capacity for inner knowledge and communication disintegrates. 

How so? 

Physiologically, the body begins to suffer when its "interior habitat" becomes too exposed. Most obviously, a rupture, wound or injury requires the work of our immune system and cellular repair process to recover and introduces the possibility of infection. More subtly, as our body is interrupted by various invisible inputs (sounds, lights, germs, toxins), energy and resources are mobilized to process the information, determine if it is a threat, and filter out that which may be harmful. 

Mentally, scientists have found that a fragmented array of mental activities (i.e. as our mind wanders within and between our devices or simply flits between the conflicting stimuli in a given urban environment) results in the depletion of our brain’s attentional capacity. The constant shift between the so-called “mind-wandering mode” and the “central executive mode” of our brain literally takes a "metabolic toll." Imagine that each time a text message or email comes in,  a fissure is created, and it takes energy and time to build a bridge between the newly separated sides, and then traverse back and forth over it. All of this leads to depleted mental resources, including the capacity to pay attention, remember or create. 

The human inclination is to process everything around us all the time in order to detect possible threat or danger... The goal is to choose what you expose yourself to and what to focus on, then respond in a way that is most productive.

 

 

WritingMikaela Bradbury