Also known as biodiversity, is the variation among organisms.
Biological diversity that encompasses the number of different species in in an area (or community).
Biological diversity that encompasses the genetic variety among individuals within a single species.
Biological diversity that encompasses the variety among ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, deserts, lakes, estuaries, and oceans.
Important environmental services, such as clean air to breather, clean water to drink, and fertile soil in which to grow crops, that ecosystems provide.
The continuous, low-level extinction of species that has occured throughout much of the history of life.
The extinction of numerous species during a relatively short period of geological time.
A species whose numbers are so severly reduced that it is in imminent danger of becoming extinct in all or a significant part of its range.
The area of the Earth in which a particular species occurs.
A species in which the population is low enough for it to be at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
The division of habitats that formerly occupied large, unbroken areas into smaller pieces by roads, fields, cities and other human activities.
The evolution of a large number of related species from an unspecialized ancestral organism.
The accidental or intentional introduction of a foreign, or exotic, species into an area where it is not native.
The collection of commercially imported organisms from the wild. Examples include the commercial harvest of parrots (for the pet trade) and cacti (for house plants).
BELLWETHER SPECIES(SENTINEL SPECIES)
An organism that provides an early warning of environmental damage. Examples include lichens, which are very sensitive to air pollution, and amphibians, which are sensitive to pesticides and other environmental contaminants.
A multidisciplinary science that focuses on the study of how humans impact organisms and on the development of ways to protect biological diversity; includes in situ and ex situ conservation.
EX SITU CONSERVATION
Conservation efforts that involve conserving biological diversity in human-controlled settings.
IN SITU CONSERVATION
Conservation efforts that concentrate on preserving biological diversity in the wild.
A new field of science in which the principles of ecology are used to help return a degraded environment as close as possible to its former, undisturbed state.
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (ESA)
It was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untendered by adequate concern and conservation.
Depletion of the population of a commercially important species to the point that is is unprofitable to harvest.
The buildup of a persistent toxic substance, such as certain pesticides, in an organism’s body.