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Habitat Map: Definition & Example

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Take a look at the environment around you. Are people moving in? Are people moving away? What do the streets look like? In this lesson, you are going to learn how scientists investigate the homes of plants and animals for various reasons.

What is a Habitat Map?

Ben has been researching different types of maps, and he has come across a map he's never seen before. He knew there were maps of streets that people used to get around before the GPS was invented. He also knew there were maps of cities, countries, and things like amusement parks. But when he saw this map, he was stumped.


Type of Map
Bushbaby map


It turns out that this was a habitat map, or a map that shows the various plants, animals, and/or their surroundings in a certain area. Habitat maps tell you more about the environment around plants and animals, as well as the species that are living there.

Let's help Ben find out more information about habitat maps.

Why are Habitat Maps Used?

Scientists want to study animals and plants to see how they are living and to see the relationships around them. It is important to know the factors that affect how a plant or animal survives. What can scientists use habitat maps for?

  • Figuring out the impact humans have on the species
  • Managing and protecting habitats
  • Predicting outcomes for species living there currently or in the future
  • Anticipating future problems
  • Researching species currently living in the habitat

Habitat maps help scientists monitor Earth's biodiversity. Biodiversity includes the various types of life found in the world or in a certain environment. It is important to know and understand biodiversity because it helps people figure out how the world works!

Examples of Habitat Maps

Let's take a look at some examples of habitat maps to see what you can learn from them. Habitat maps can be used for plants, animals, and environments on land or in the sea.

Land Habitat Map

The map that Ben found in the beginning of this lesson actually shows where the bushbaby lives in Africa. By looking at this particular map, scientists can study the areas that the bushbaby lives in to figure out some of the following questions:

  • Why do bushbabies only live in central Africa?
  • What type of habitat does it live in?
  • How are there possible bushbabies in one section of Africa?

Knowing more about the bushbaby and where it lives helps ensure it sustains a great life.

Benthic Habitat Map

A benthic, or seafloor, habitat map shows the plants and animals on the seafloor. This type of mapping is slightly more complicated because it is underwater and harder to see.

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