By habitat, we mean homes: space for food, water, nesting and shelter. When native vegetation is cleared or permanently altered, fragmented patches or islands are formed. Populations of plant and animal species within the islands are isolated and severely affected.
Habitat loss and fragmentation lead to a breakdown in ecological processes such as wildlife migration, seed dispersal, pollination of plants, and other natural functions that are essential for ecosystem health. The result is decline in biodiversity (biological diversity) and local extinction of sensitive species.