Because habitat is so crucial to the survival and reproduction of individual organisms and persistence of populations, it has long been studied by wildlife ecologists. However, the modern concept of habitat originated with ecologists before the field and practice of wildlife ecology arose. The fields of ecology and wildlife ecology have developed along separate historical paths, but, given that research in each field continues to involve the study of species–habitat relationships, there is common ground for practitioners and students in both fields to better engage with one another. Such collaboration could involve a shared recognition that habitat largely determines a species spatial distribution in nature. Through a behavioral process of dispersal, settlement, and establishment, an individual organism finds appropriate habitat by searching and responding to environmental cues. These cues may primarily be characteristics of the habitat such as vegetation structure. Characterization or statistical analysis of habitat is an obvious and important component of studying the habitat requirements of a species. It is recommended that multiple logistic regression will often be the most appropriate method for characterizing habitat. Of most importance, a habitat analysis should recognize that the habitat of a species involves an integrated set of environmental variables that synergistically influence the survival and reproduction of the individual and existence of the species. The study of habitat can help us learn more about the autecology of the focal species, its role in ecological communities, and proper strategies for its preservation.
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