Want to make creations as awesome as this one?



Visual Guide to Human Impacts


Select An Image to Explore

Human Impact: Habitat Conversion

Human Impact: Farming

Human Impact: Habitat Fragmentation

Human Impact: Impermeable Surfaces

Human Impact: Energy Needs

Human Impact: Pollution

Reducing Impact: New Ideas

Reducing Impact: Changing Habits

Habitat Conversion

Humans change natural habitats into:

  • yards
  • parks
  • roads
  • parking lots
  • factories
  • farms
  • golf courses
Native species cannot live in these places.

Changing the Ecosystem

Humans Convert Natural Habitat

Farms are used to raise livestock or produce crops that are not native species. Humans affect ecosystems by:

  • Plowing fields
  • Adding fertilizers
  • Spraying pesticides
  • Using pasture lands
  • Polluting streams
    • Nitrogen from cow manure and fertilizers
  • Using lots of water for their crops

Farms lower Biodiversity


Humans Change Ecosystems into Farms

More about edge effect

Many species have difficulty:

  • finding food
  • migrating
  • finding mates
  • moving to new hunting territory
Fragmentation causes lots of edge habitat which is good for some species but not good for most species.

Fragmentation causes native species to struggle

Habitat Fragmentation

Humans break large ecosystems into small chunks

Permeable surfaces allow water to pass through. These can be:

  • wetland
  • forest
  • wild meadows
Impermeable surfaces do not allow water to pass through. These are surfaces such as:
  • paved roads
  • lawns
  • roofs

Impermeable Surfaces disrupt the water cycle

Impermeable Surfaces

Humans build surfaces that change how water flows

Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas are burned to produce heat or energy. But they release carbon dioxide which traps the sun's heat.Some alternative energy sources such as solar or hydroelectric produce energy without making carbon dioxide. But each has effects on ecosystems as well.

Fossil Fuels produce Carbon Dioxide and warm the Planet

Energy Needs

Humans have big energy needs that affect climate

Types of pollution include:

  • land ex: litter
  • water ex: fertilizer
  • air ex. carbon dioxide
  • noise ex. vehicles
  • light ex. street lights
Pollution can cause species to starve or change migration habits. Soil that is contaminated may kill plants and disrupt food webs.

Pollution damages ecosystems


Humans Add harmful substances to Ecosystems

Federal goverment funding allows states to build or improve wildlife structures

  • wildlife crossings to provide places for animals to cross busy highways
  • naturalized areas and brush piles to provide spaces for wildlife to survive

People are coming up with new ideas to Reduce Impacts

How can we save our Ecosystems?

Reducing Impacts of Habitat Conversion

Provide native spaces for wildlife like community gardensPractice sustainable farmingTo reduce energy needs and pollution, you can:

  • walk or ride a bike
  • turn off lights
  • use proper disposal

People are changing their Habits to Reduce impact

How can we Fix Our Ecosystems?

Reducing Impacts of Habitat Damage

Community Alliances form Strong Support


To see how Grow Pittsburgh is using urban farms

Watch the video

Click the Link

To read a list of 15 ways that Green Philly suggests you can take action this year

Making Changes in Pennsylvania

This article talks about current critter crossings in PA

Read the Article


The video to the left by the PA Game Commission about building brush piles

Watch the Videos

The video below is a news story about buildng wildlife corridors across busy highways in PA.

Urban Fragmentation

Central PA Air Pollution in 2023

Fossil Fuels and Alternative ENergy

Sustainable Farming

Effects of Impermeable Surfaces

Video: Habitat Loss