Glossary of Terms on Endangered Species and Conservation Biology
Biodiversity - the existence of a wide range of different plant and animal
species that exist in a particular place
Conservation - (1) protection of valued resources - the preservation, management,
and care of natural and cultural resources; (2) protection from change - keeping or protecting of something
from change, loss, or damage
Conservation Biology - the branch of biology that is concerned with preserving
genetic variation (biodiversity) in plants and animals. This scientific field evolved to study the complex
problems surrounding habitat destruction and species protection. The objectives of conservation biologists are
to understand how humans affect biodiversity and to provide potential solutions that benefit both humans and non-human species.
Endangered - in great danger or at risk
Endangered Species - plant and animal species that
are in danger of extinction. Over 34,000 plant species and 5,200 animal species around the globe are threatened
with extinction, and many thousands more become extinct each year before biologists can identify them. The
primary causes of species extinction or endangerment are habitat destruction, commercial exploitation (such as plant
collecting, hunting, and trade in animal parts), damage caused by nonnative plants and animals introduced into an
area, and pollution. Of these causes, direct habitat destruction threatens the most species.
Extinction - the act of becoming extinct - the death of all members of a species
or family of organisms
Habitat- the natural area where a plant or animal species normally lives
Preservation - protection from harm - guarding something from danger, harm, or injury
Threatened Species - a plant or animal
species that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. There are currently over 16,000 species
worldwide designated as threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.