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Endangered Species: Glossary

A

aesthetic
concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty
agricultural
related to growing food
amphibians
animals that live in both water and on dry land
aquatic
Referring to an organism that lives mainly in the water
arboreal
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing

B

beneficial
helpful
biodiversity
the wide range of plants and animals in a given area

C

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
classified
named and ordered
climate
long term weather
commercial
related to making money
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

D

DDT
a dangerous insecticide - no longer used
delisted
removed from the list
development
the process of changing wild areas into living or commercial areas
disastrous
a disaster - very bad
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
dwindle
get smaller

E

ecological
related to plant and animal communities
endangered
close to extinction
environmental
related to the environment - things around us
evidence
clues left that tell something
extinct
no longer exists

F

food web
a combination of food chains

G

generations
grandparents, parents, and grandchildren would be 3 generations
glaciers
frozen rivers that remain frozen for long periods of time

H

habitat
where an animal 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

I

ice age
a time in our history where much of the earth was covered in ice
identified
to find and make known to others
introduce (introduction)
to move a species into an area it is not native to

M

marine
Native to or inhabiting the sea
medicinal
related to medicine

N

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
non-native
not naturally found in a location - has been moved there

O

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)

P

pesticides
poisons used to kill insects, rodents
petition
a request to do something - usually in the form of a paper document
population
the counted numbers of a group
prey
the food of a carnivore - or to hunt

R

range
The geographical area over which an organism is distributed
reclassify
The process of changing a species' official threatened or endangered classification
recovery plans
a plan to protect a species
recreational
related to sport or for fun
region
area
resources
things needed for survival
rodents
small mammals: mice, rats, squirrels, etc.

S

species
a group of animals or plants that share common characteristics
subdivision
a neighborhood of homes
sustainable natural resource
a resource in nature whose product can be used, allowed to regenerate, and used again and again. Forests are a sustainable resource, petroleum is not

T

threatened
not yet close to extinction, but in great danger

U

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)

V

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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