What Effect Has The Construction Industry On Biodiversity?

Focus Areas

What effect has the construction industry on Biodiversity?

Construction projects, whether commercial developments, housing estates, infrastructure or public-sector projects, all have the potential to damage natural habitats, threatening wildlife and plant species.

  • Good practice starts with location. As far as possible, construction should take place in areas where it will have least impact on biodiversity.
  • During construction habitat destruction may occur where a habitat is removed to make way for a new development. Plants and sessile animals in these areas are usually directly impacted generally resulting in alteration or reduction in biodiversity. Mobile animals (especially birds and mammals) retreat into remnant patches of habitat.
  • Fragmentation: Native habitats, which were once continuous, may become divided into separate fragments during construction. The extent and connectivity of remaining habitats are reduced, and species may or may not be able to survive as a result. Fragmentation may alter the distribution of populations, the migration rates among populations, or the size of local populations. Animals with large home ranges (i.e. badgers) will be the most severely affected. Often habitat fragmentation doesn’t present an absolute barrier to movement, but rather subjects animals to greater mortality as they try to cross the contrasting habitat
  • Disturbance: There is the potential for noise from construction activities to disturb fauna resulting in their relocation and thus reducing the biodiversity of an area.
  • Pollution of watercourses: Soil, waste concrete and toxins in runoff from construction sites or fuels, accidentally spilled during storage or delivery, can enter watercourses. Fine sediments from the bottom or sides of streams can be mobilised during in-stream construction. These pollutants can impact aquatic habitats, plant life, invertebrate and all life stages of fish.
  • Poorly timed construction: This can have a negative impact on a wide variety of species including nesting birds.

Taken directly from: Notice Nature

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