Latin, it inhabits, from habitare
- Date: 1796
- b : the typical place of residence of a person or a group
- c : a housing for a controlled physical environment in which people can live under surrounding inhospitable conditions (as under the sea)
- 2 : the place where something is commonly found
A habitat (which is Latin for "it inhabits") is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organism. It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds (influences and is utilized by) a species population.
The term "population" is preferred to "organism" because, while it is possible to describe the habitat of a single black bear, we may not find any particular or individual bear but the grouping of bears that constitute a breeding population and occupy a certain biogeographical area. Further, this habitat could be somewhat different from the habitat of another group or population of black bears living elsewhere. Thus it is neither the species nor the individual for which the term habitat is typically used.