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Local Extinction

species no longer found in an area that it once inhabited but can be found elsewhere in world

Ecological Extinction

so few members of a species are left that it can no longer play its ecological role

Biological Extinction

species no longer found anywhere on earth

Endangered Species

so few individual survivors that species could soon become extinct over most of its natural range

Threatened Species

abundant in natural range but because of declining numbers it is likely to become endangered in near future

Red Lists

world-wide list of endangered/threatened species put out by International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)

Species-Area Relationship

90% destruction of habitat will cause loss of about 50% of the species in that area

Theory of Island Biogeography

biodiversity is based on size of habitat island as well as proximity of the island to the nearest larger habitat area


wildlife tourism where people pay to study, learn about, and observe natural environments

Endemic Species

species unique to a particular ecosystem and found nowhere else on earth

Habitat Island

habitat surrouned by a different type of habitat

Habitat Fragmentation

large continuous area of habitat is reduced in area and divided into smaller, more scattered, and isolated patches or "habitat islands"

Biotic Pollution

harmful ecological and economic effects from the presence of accidentally or deliberately introduced species into ecosystems


gradual build-up of synthetic and organic chemicals in living organisms


increase in concentration of persistent chemicals (heavy metals or fat-soluble pesticides) in successively higher trophic levels of a food chain or web


illegal hunting


wild animals being hunted by local people, frequently illegally, for food or to supply restaurants


Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; international agreement between 175 governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival


Convention on Biological Diversity; agreement by 188 countries to reverse decline in biological diversity; prevent/control spread of ecologically harmful invasive species; landmark internation law since it focuses on ecosystems rather than individual species


Endangered Species Act (1973); US law making it illegal to hunt, harass, uproot, harm any threatened or endangered species


National Marine Fisheries Service; federal agency responsible for listing endangered and threatened ocean species as part of the ESA


US Fish and Wildlife Service; federal agency responsible for listing endangered and threatened all species other than ocean species as part of the ESA


Habitat Conservation Plan; amendment to the ESA in 1982 which allows secretary of interior to strike a compromise between landowners and the threatened/endangered species by allowing destruction of some critical habitat in exchange for taking steps to protect members of that species

Gene / Seed Banks

protects and preserves genetic diversity of plant species by storing seeds in refrigerated, low-humidity environments

Botanical Gardens / Arboreta

"museums" that contain living plants of about 1/3 known plant species

Egg Puling

technique for preserving endangered species; collecting wild eggs and hatching them in research centers or zoos

Captive Breeding

technique for preserving endangered species; some or all of wild individuals are captured for breeding in capativity and hopefully reintroduced to the wild

Reconciliation Ecology

establish and maintain new habitats to conserve species diversity in places where people live, work, or play; share spaces that we dominate with other species

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