Endangered Species   Oct 16, 2007   2:00/1:00 MT/PT
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Endangered Species Glossary

Amphibious Able to live both on land and in the water.
Aquatic Referring to an organism that lives mainly in the water.
Arboreal Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
Biodiversity The variety of all life forms - the different plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain, that coexist in a complex community.
Canopy A continuous layer in forests made up of intermingling of branches of trees; it may be continuous ("closed") or broken by gaps ("open.")
Captive Breeding The process of breeding threatened or endangered species in controlled settings, such as wildlife preserves, and zoos. Sometimes the organisms are released (reintroduced) to the wild, when there is sufficient natural habitat to support new individuals or when the threat to the species in the wild is lessened... read more
Conservation A careful way to preserve, manage and protect natural resources including plants and animals and their habitats for the future. Conservation can protects from exploitation, destruction or neglect.
Crepuscular Appearing or becoming active at twilight or just before sunrise.
Critical Habitat Specific geographic areas, whether occupied by listed species or not, that are determined to be essential for the conservation and management of a listed species.

Critically Endangered

A species that is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Delist The process of removing a plant or animal from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.
Dispersal Movement of an organism away from its previous home range. Dispersal often refers to the movement of a young animal away from the home range where it was born when it matures.
Diurnal Active during daylight hours.
Ecological Extinction The reduction of a species to such low numbers that, although it is still present in the community, it no longer interacts significantly with other species.
Endangered Species

A specie, plant or animal, that faces a very high risk of becoming extinct. Its numbers are usually low, and it needs protection in order to survive. Thousands of plants and animals are endangered worldwide.

Endangered Species Act of 1973

The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is simple: to prevent America's native fish, plants and wildlife from going extinct. To date, the Endangered Species Act has been 99 percent successful in achieving this goal of preventing extinctions.

Environment External forces affecting living things.
Extinct One that is no longer living.
Extinct in the Wild A species is extinct in the wild if:
-there have been thorough searches conducted for the wildlife; and
-the wildlife has not been seen in the wild over a period that is appropriate for the life cycle or form of the wildlife.
Habitat The natural characteristics of the area where an organism lives.
Home Range The area in which an organism normally lives, whether or not it defends the area from other organisms; the area that an animal learns and defends; the amount of land used by an animal throughout the year.
Marine Native to or inhabiting the sea.
Near Threatened

An animal is near threatened if:
-the population size or distribution of the wildlife is small and may become smaller; or
-the population size of the wildlife has declined, or is likely to decline, at a rate higher than the usual rate for population changes for the wildlife; or
-the survival of the wildlife in the wild is affected to an extent that the wildlife is in danger of becoming vulnerable.

A near-threatened organism does not qualify as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable , but is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.

Nocturnal Active during nighttime.
Overstory The forest canopy layer above the shrubs, herbs and small trees in a forest., Over story is also the upper level of vegetation in a two-level vegetation system (see understory).
Petition A formal written request that the Fish and Wildlife Service investigates to determine if an animal or plant should be placed on the Endangered or Threatened Species Lists.
Range The geographical area over which an organism is distributed.
Reclassify The process of changing a species' official threatened or endangered classification.
Re-Introduction Releasing captive born animals where they once existed. Only successful after you have corrected the cause(s) of the original population decline.
Sanctuary A place where animals can live in peace and safety.
Species A taxonomic division that generally refers to a group of organisms which are similar in structure and descent and are able to breed among themselves.
Sustainable Natural Resource One where their product can be used, allowed to regenerate, and used again and again, a process. Forests are a sustainable resource, petroleum is not.
Threatened A species whose population is not yet low enough to be in immediate danger of extinction, but who certainly faces serious problems.
Understory The layer of shrubs, herbs and small trees beneath the forest canopy. The upper level of vegetation in a two-level vegetation system (see overstory).
Vulnerable Species

A species is vulnerable if:
-its population is decreasing , or
-its population has been seriously depleted and its protection is not secured, or
-its population, while abundant, is at risk because of threatening processes, or
-its population is low or localized or depends on limited habitat that is at risk.

A vulnerable species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

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