Threats and Issues

The combined -- and often unintended -- effects that human activities have on the natural world often intensifies the need for deliberate actions to conserve and protect land and their non-human inhabitants. Learn how scientists, conservationists, landowners, and citizens alike are addressing and mitigating the negative impact of individual threats.

As we move through our beta phase, we'll add more material here about the issues of: 

  • Water
  • Energy Development
  • Pollution
  • Altered Processes

Understand Threats and Issues

  • Habitat Loss

    The destruction, degradation, and fragmentation of natural habitats -- our forests, wetlands, and grasslands -- pose the greatest threat to the nation's thousands of different plants and animals.

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  • Development Pressure

    While many human activities can alter natural habitats, the conversion of green space to urban and suburban uses is the fastest growing threat to the nation's plants, animals, and open spaces.

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  • Climate Change

    The threat of climate change has altered many long-standing ideas about land protection and conservation. How do we best use the emerging science to anticipate changing conditions on the ground while increasing the resilience of natural systems?

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  • Invasive Species

    Invasive non-native species pose a serious threat to native plants, animals, and ecological systems -- in fact, they are now regarded as the second-leading threat to imperiled species, behind only habitat destruction.

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Go to the Map

Use the interactive map to zoom smoothly from a national view to state and local perspectives anywhere across the country.

Go Straight to Your State

Learn about conservation and open space in your state.

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