In a recent analysis of the environmental threats facing Martha’s Vineyard, The Nature Conservancy concluded, unsurprisingly, that development – the conversion of natural areas into places used mainly by humans – remains the Island’s biggest ecological threat. It isn’t just that development results in loss of habitat: houses and businesses, however necessary they are to the Vineyard’s human community, make most other ecological threats even worse. Roads associated with development exposes small animals to the risk of being run over (while other critters, like salamanders, avoid crossing pavement at all and so can be cut off by roads from resources they need). Subdivisions can introduce invasive plants into formerly pristine natural habitat.
Educational essays provided by The Nature Conservancy