When large tracts of the natural landscape are gradually developed and subdivided until only patches of original habitat remain.
The patches are often too small and too far apart to support the survival and reproductive needs of many wildlife species during various stages of their life-cycle or in different times of the year. This results in both habitat loss and the fragmentation of the remaining parts.
When a species’ habitat is separated by such distances that make movement from one area significant and reduce a species’ ability to reproduce. In addition, fragmentation of habitats results in fewer species, even if the total amount of habitat is the same as it was originally. There is also the likelihood that animals will try to cross between two areas of habitat, which can result in animal deaths if roads and railway lines are involved. Furthermore, smaller patches of habitat and the wildlife that depend on them are more vulnerable to the effects of natural disturbances i.e. fire, flooding etc.