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?Animal Ecology: Why Studies It

Posted by on Oct 6th, 2008
2008
Oct 6

Animal ecology is an important area of study for scientists. It is the study of animals and how they related to each other as well as how they related to their environment. There are various forms of animal ecology. This includes:

• Behavioral ecology, the study of the behavior of the animals with relation to their environment and others
• Population ecology, the study of the effects on the population of these animals
• Marine ecology is the study of animal life
• Evolutionary ecology is the study of how animals evolve over time to meet the demands on them

There are various other forms. By studying this information, scientists hope to learn more about what makes these animals prosper or what potentially holds them back. With animal ecology, there are many factors, most of which are human caused, that is currently threatening them.

There are many examples of this problem throughout the country. Perhaps the best examples, though, are in the water. A look at area lakes, coastlines and even marine life will show you just how much human environmental damage has hurt these animals. Animal ecology has changed drastically in an effort to keep up. Here are some examples of how the environment and human interaction has changed the scope of many animals.

• Animal habitats in many marine areas have ceased to exist. Coral reefs and other very delicate ecosystems have been harmed by human presence.
• In the arctic regions, melting ice has limited the lifespan of polar bears, which make the ice their home. Additionally, sea lions and other marine life that use the ice to rest on have been unable to do so.
• Dams and other waterway changes have hurt animal ecology throughout the country. Animals are no longer able to get to the source of water they need.
• Deforestation in jungles and other habitats has caused many of the only locations for animals to live to be wiped away.
• Sprawling city growth has also pushed animals farther and farther out of their natural habitats.

There are many other ways that animal ecology has changed. The goal of scientists is to find out what is happening and why it is happening that way. It is often very much a worry when animal species are dying or are unable to evolve naturally because of the drastic changes in their lifestyles and living areas. Through study of animal ecology, scientists hope to understand better what really is happening and what effect it will have both in the short and in the long term.

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