Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits
Wetland    Forest    Shrub    Meadow   Swamp    Marsh    Shoreline   

Wetland: Simply put, wetlands are areas where land and water blend in varying quantities, and where the presence of this water at or near the soil surface drives the natural systems-including the kind of soils that form, the plants that grow, and the fish and/or wildlife communities that use the habitat. Freshwater wetlands in the United States have shrunk from more than 200 million acres in 1780 to less than 100 million acres today, primarily because of conversion to agriculture and other development. Among the continued threats to wetland habitats are the draining and diversion of water, loss of water quality, invasive plant species, and urban encroachment.

Forest: Forested habitat features trees that are at least 20 feet tall and provide an overhead canopy cover of at least 50 percent. About a third of the continental United States is covered by forested woodlands, down 30 percent from pre-European settlement times; most losses have been in the East. Healthy forested habitat is at risk from unsustainable logging, plantation forestry, overgrazing by deer or livestock, new tree diseases, invasive species, conversion to agriculture, too-frequent or too-scarce fire, resource extraction, urbanization, and fragmentation by roads and utility lines.         next page >>