Adaptation:a biological characteristic that can improve the chances of survival for animals, plants and their descendants 

Biodiversity:used to describe the variety of life (called biota) on Earth 


Competitor:a species that may compete with another species for the same resources, such as food 

Conservation:used to describe the management and protection of life on Earth 

Conservation Biology:An area in science that is concerned with the study and protection of the Earth's biodiversity 

Ecosystem:the physical environment in which a community of organisms interacts 

Endangered:a species that is at risk of becoming extinct in the foreseeable future 

Endangered Species Act (ESA):legislation, passed by Congress in 1973, which protects listed species (those considered threatened or endangered)

Extinction:the act of becoming extinct, a species is extinct when no living members exist 

Exotic Species:a species introduced intentionally or accidentally into a new environment (in habitats where it is normally not found) through human activities 

Fauna:refers to the animal life of a particular region, geological period or environment 

Flora:refers to the plant life of a particular region, geological period or environment 

Habitat:the environment in which a plant or animal lives 


Native Species:a species that belongs to an area, they have been part of a given biological landscape for a long period time 

Overexploitation:the killing of a species well beyond the point that the population levels can be sustained 

Population:a group of organisms, of one species, that occupy a defined area and are usually isolated from similar groups of the same species 

Predator:an animal that preys on others 

Prey:an animal that is preyed upon by a predator 

Pollution:the contamination of air, water, or soil because of the discharge of harmful substances, usually resulting from human activities 

Species:a group of individuals that has similar characteristics and breeds only with another member of the same group 

Threatened:a species that is at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:a federal agency whose job is to oversee the implementation of the Endangered Species Act