Habitat alteration, simply put, is a change to a particular environment. What is unclear from its designation, however, is the adverse affect changes — big or small — have on the broader environment and related plant and animal life. According to The Nature Conservancy, habitat alteration, along with invasive species, are the two main causes of fish extinction.
As Mongolia cowers under the brutal thrall of its worst winter in decades, questions are being asked as to whether the country should end its reliance on nomadic herders and dig deeper into its mineral reserves instead. Some 800 years ago, Mongolia’s nomadic herdsmen were surging across the steppe under the leadership of Genghis Khan and conquering China, Tibet and much of central Asia. Today, most of their descendents are at the mercy of the hostile Mongolian weather or crammed in the capital, Ulan Bator, where they struggle to make a living even though the country sits on some of the world’s richest mineral reserves.