Biodiversity : Glossary

There are 62 documents in this section.

  • Flora

    16 March 2001

    The combination of plants in a particular area. Each biome has a characteristic flora.

  • Fauna

    16 March 2001

    The animal life characteristic of a particular biome. The savanna biome, for example, supports large populations of herbivores, such as wildebeest, antelope and kangaroo, and predators in the form of lions, cheetahs, hyenas and dingoes that prey on them. Any change in a biome, whether natural or human-induced, has the potential to alter the associated fauna.

  • Endangered species

    16 March 2001

    Species of plants or animals threatened with extinction because their numbers have declined to a critical level as a result of overharvesting or because their habitat has drastically changed. That critical level is the minimum viable population (MVP), and represents the smallest number of breeding pairs required to maintain the viability of species.

  • Threatened species

    16 March 2001

    Species that have been assigned to one of three IUCN Red List Categories - either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

  • Ecology

    16 March 2001

    Originally defined by Ernst Haeckel in 1866, ecology is the study of the relationships that develop among living organisms and between these organisms and the environment.

  • Ecological Introductions

    16 March 2001

    The introduction of an organism into an area in which it is not normally resident, usually as a result of human activity.

  • Earth Summit

    16 March 2001

    Popular name for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

  • Biome

    16 March 2001

    A community of plants and animals in equilibrium with the environmental characteristics - climate, soils, hydrology - of a major geographical area.

  • Biodiversity Convention

    16 March 2001

    A product of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), outlining policies aimed at combining the preservation of natural biological diversity with sustainable development of biological resources.

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

    16 March 2001

    An agreement drawn up in 1973 to protect a wide variety of animals and plants thought to be at the risk of extinction. It has been signed by 125 nations, and protects nearly 90 species of plants and 400 species of animals, by prohibiting trade in the species or products made from them.