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Biodiversity: the variety/diversity of life in a given area; may describe diversity at the ecosystem, species, or genetic level

Biodiversity hotspot: a region where high levels of biodiversity (specifically, the region must have at least 1,500 endemic vascular plants) are currently threatened (only 30% or less of its original natural vegetation remains); read more at Conservation International


Ecosystem: a community of interacting, biological (living) organisms and their physical (non-living) environment in a given space

Endangered: describes a species at risk of extinction; noun: endangerment

Endemic: describes a species that is unique to a biogeographic region, i.e. it only exists on a particular island, mountain range, or part of a continent; noun: endemism


Herptile: a reptile or amphibian


Indigenous: a species that naturally occurs in a given region without human intervention; synonym: native

Invasive: describes a non-native species whose uncontrolled population growth and spread causes economic or environmental problems


Non-native: describes a species living or growing in an area that is not part of its native range; synonyms: alien, exotic, introduced



Species richness: the number of different species in a given area; does not describe how many individuals of each species are present

Symbiosis: a mutually beneficial relationship between two different species; adjective: symbiotic


Threatened: describes a species at risk of endangerment