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It seems pretty obvious that Halo rings are suitable for wildlife. Zeta Halo (Halo from Halo Infinite) is inhabited by a huge amount of wild species. Also, we see wildlife in Halo 2 and 3.

So why Alpha Halo is so empty, like there is no wildlife at all?

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    I know that Xbox had limited capabilities, but what is a cannon explanation? – MrSnowMan Sep 25 '19 at 10:40
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    The out of universe explanation is that Bungie thought wildlife diminished the Flood reveal. Several animal were made and later cut. – Nolimon Sep 25 '19 at 13:14
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    @nolimon - back that up with evidence and you've got yourself a pretty solid answer to post – Valorum Sep 28 '19 at 10:37
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    A lot of the levels are set in active warzones, internal tunnels and bits of the ring infested by Flood. Perhaps unsurprising that the wildlife is lying low! – Sean Condon Sep 28 '19 at 10:43
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    @SeanCondon well, if they are staying low, why they are not shown as combat/infected forms after Flood outbreak? Plus, from terminals we know that ring was empty from the begging, but why? If it applies for any Halo ring, then why Zeta Halo is sprawled with wildlife? – MrSnowMan Sep 28 '19 at 17:37
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There is actually a small amount of wildlife on Alpha Halo (Installation 04) in Halo: Combat Evolved:

  • Moths are found in the swamps on the level 343 Guilty Spark
  • Small worms are found in the sea on the level Silent Cartographer (only in the original game, not in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary)

In addition, sounds from other creatures can be heard throughout the game, such as owl-like bird calls and cricket-like insect sounds.

However, according to an old news story on Bungie.net, One Million Years B.X. (Before Xbox), now only found in the Wayback Machine, more prominent wildlife was also originally planned, but scrapped mostly for technical reasons:

The Fauna of Halo

The main reasons that the Fauna, a collection of pseudo-dinosaurs and herds of vaguely mammalian varmints) were dropped from Halo (and relatively far into the process) were the usual combination of time constraints, design issues and performance problems. But another, perhaps more fundamental philosophical reason was that the inclusion of another set of inhabitants of Halo would have detracted from the surprise, drama and impact of the Flood.

Problems with AI for the creatures, problems with how they would react and behave during action sequences and even things like basic herd mentality meant that more important features (like vehicles and finishing the game on time) had to take precedence.

Although a populated Halo ring is unarguably cool, the sense of abandonment and mystery is actually heightened without them. The deserted landscapes and eerily empty structures actually serve to enhance the mystery of the Forerunners. But that's an accident of design rather than a purpose.

The sad thing is that the assets created for the animals, the animation, models and textures, were all largely complete. But those dinosaurs were destined never to roam the ring. Unless Bungie one day decided to make a dinosaur racing game!

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    Apologies for the wiki source links, it's hard to find other good sources for this. Feel free to edit my answer with better ones, perhaps YouTube videos? – tobiasvl Dec 12 '19 at 23:53

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