I watched a deer herd at the edge of a Virginia pasture. It dawned on me that the animal near the center of the herd was more a function of the surrounding deer than it was of the nearby shrubs or the two dozen factors of the soil and grass that could be measured. These factors are collectively called food and cover but are only parts of habitat. The animals were habitat. I had seen the same in bison and elk herds.
The center deer was more affected by a chase by a hound several hours ago than by the present composition of the shrubs. The time dimension needs to be part of that multi-dimensional set of factors affecting animals. That set is called by ecologists the "niche."
I could not see the pond behind the deer. The pond was not present where the deer was feeding. There was a nearness factor.
An animal had dug a den. It was now used by another animal of a different species. The den was classical "habitat" but very much a function of the animal creating the structure.
Habitat needs to be replaced with faunal space so that we can think about, discuss, and plan for manipulating any of the factors (such as herd density, and nearness to water) that are needed to achieve the desired populations and their benefits.
Faunal space is the topic of interest for the future for working with ideas and processes affecting populations on platforms within the rural areas.