Welcome, Habitat Engineers, to the Home Sweet Habitat Blog! Since you’re here, I commend you for taking a positive step in the movement to protect, sustain, and restore habitat around the world. As you’re probably new to the Home Sweet Habitat community, I wanted to share what it is exactly we do, and why we do it. This information is available elsewhere on our website, www.homesweethabitat.com, but since you came straight to the blog, I won’t make you hunt it down.
What is Home Sweet Habitat?
Home Sweet Habitat is a lot of things. First, HSH is a habitat consulting business. My name is Jacob, and along with my wife Rebekah, we help clients take their property and make it more beneficial to local wildlife. Our model is to balance the personal needs of our clients with the wildlife habitat potential available to the area they would like to see transformed. Stay tuned to see some of our physical habitat enhancement projects as they begin to take shape!
Home Sweet Habitat is also a source of free online education. In addition to this blog, Rebekah and I will post podcasts and videos on a wide range of habitat-related topics. Our goal is to take my ecological expertise and make it accessible to everyone who is interested. To accomplish this, Rebekah and I have been travelling to unique “living labs”. These are natural areas that visibly demonstrate how and why some habitats exist where they do, and what that means for Habitat Engineers. Knowing how habitat works outside of our influence will give us the tools to impact it where we do have control. Stay tuned for examinations of places like the beautiful Death Valley National Park and Timbered Crater Wilderness Study Area.
Why Private Habitat Restoration?
Why not green technology development, or plastic waste reduction research? Couldn’t HSH be more productive elsewhere? My opinion is a resounding no. Habitat destruction and land use conversion are still the largest contributors to biodiversity loss in the world today. While there are protective development regulations in place in many areas, we don’t worry about wildlife with enough intensity until a species is listed as threatened. Up until then, small-scale extirpations aren’t a big deal, right? Yet irrevocable change will occur—even to “protected” wildlife communities—as remaining habitat continues to fragment. Species will begin to behave differently as they adjust to their new normal. Habitat is disappearing by mechanical means on a much quicker timescale than ecological means, and we can do something about it. We can fill it back in.
I call you Habitat Engineers. That term is very intentional. As you’ll see in my next post, habitat is molded by a wide array of factors, and the more of these factors you recognize and control, the more natural you can make the land you own (or rent!) suitable for the species your community supports. Together, as Habitat Engineers, we can make a real difference and reconnect habitat “islands” for the first time in possibly decades. Our ultimate goal is to do to habitat what Apple did to the phone and computer: make it cool! Make it popular! Make it sexy. And with your help, we can.
- Jacob Ewald