acid rain Rain with a low pH that develops when moisture in the atmosphere combines with oxides to produce acidic compounds like nitric and sulphuric acids.
adaptive management A management plan that is monitored for effectiveness, and adjustments are made when management goals are not met.
adaptive restoration A restoration project that uses adaptive management to achieve its goals.
agricultural runoff Water that collects and carries pollutants in its flow from agricultural lands into lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Aichi Biodiversity Targets A set of 5 strategic goals and 20 achievable targets for 2020 that was agreed upon by politicians to measure progress in biodiversity conservation.
albedo The ratio of solar radiation (i.e. sunlight energy) a body reflects or absorbs. Pale surfaces (e.g. pale sand) has a high albedo and generally reflect more sunlight, while dark surfaces (e.g. forests) has a low albedo and absorb more sunlight.
Allee effect Describes the correlation of fitness and population size, whereby the average fitness of individuals are reduced when their population drops below a certain number or density of individuals.
alleles Different forms of a gene, which arise through mutations that change DNA sequences. One example is different blood types on humans, produced by different alleles of the genes for specific blood proteins.
alpha diversity The total number of species found in a biological community, such as a lake or a forest. Also called species richness.
amenity value The intangible but desirable values people attach to certain aspects of nature. Includes ecotourism and other recreational values of biodiversity.
Anthropocene The current geological age marked by human activities that exert a dominant influence on Earth’s climate and environment.
anthropogenic climate change See climate change
anthroponotic disease Diseases such as measles that can be transmitted from humans to animals. Compare to zoonotic disease.
arboretum A specialised botanical garden that focuses on collecting and conserving trees and other woody plants.
artificial incubation A captive breeding strategy that involves humans placing eggs in an incubator until hatching.
artificial insemination Human-assisted introduction of sperm into a receptive female animal to better manage her reproductive output.
assisted colonisation The establishment of populations of climate-sensitive species at new, suitable locations outside of their natural distribution range. Also called assisted migration.
augmentation programme See restocking programme.
background extinction rate The natural rate of extinctions that can be expected without the influence of humans as the primary driver of extinctions.
bequest value The perceived benefit people receive from preserving a natural resource or species for future generations. Also known as beneficiary value.
beta diversity Describes the rate at which species composition changes across a region, or along a gradient or transect.
Big Five The five species that big-game hunters consider the most difficult to hunt on foot — elephant, black rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard, and lion. Recently adopted by the safari industry to reflect the same five species tourists most like to see.
binomial An exclusive two-part name taxonomists give when they formally describe a species. Usually in italic font when typed; underlined when hand-written, e.g. Panthera leo (lion) or Homo sapiens (humans).
bioaccumulation See biomagnification.
bioassay Using the response of living plants or animals exposed to certain environmental conditions to evaluate an ecosystem’s condition.
bioblitz A period of intense biological surveying where experts across a range of taxa come together to record all the living species within a designated area and time.
biochemical indicator A chemical substance used to evaluate ecosystem condition.
biodegradation Natural decomposition by bacteria and other living organisms.
Biodiversity Hotspot See Global Biodiversity Hotspots.
biodiversity indicators A species or groups of species that can be used to provide a measure of the total biodiversity in an area. Also known as surrogate species or biodiversity surrogates.
biodiversity inventory An attempt to document which species are present (and presumably absent) in some defined locality.
biodiversity offset When developers compensate for the loss of biodiversity during a development by proposing to protect or restore ecosystems elsewhere.
biodiversity Shortened form of biological diversity, which describes the range of species, genetic diversity within each species, and the multitude of complex biological communities with their associated interactions and ecosystem processes.
bioenergy Renewable energy products, such as ethanol and biodiesel (collectively called biofuels), derived from plants and/or waste products over a short period of time, rather than through long-term geological processes. Compare to fossil fuels.
biogeographic transition zone A region where different ecosystems meet and overlap. Also called ecotone.
biogeography The study of factors that shape organisms’ distribution over space and time.
biologging device Data-recording devices (e.g. GPS tags, accelerometers) that are deployed on an animal to collect information such as movement, speed, and temperature. Also called biologgers.
biological community All the species of a locality that interact with one another.
biological control The use of natural predators, parasites, and pathogens to manage or eliminate pests and the damage they cause. Also called biocontrol.
biological definition of species A group of individuals that breed (or could breed) with each other in the wild, but do not breed with members of other groups. Compare to morphological and evolutionary definition of species.
biological diversity See biodiversity.
biological interaction The effects that living organisms have on one another. Interactions such as competition may be negative, while others, such as cooperation, may be positive. See also symbiotic relationships.
biomagnification Describes the process through which pesticides and other toxins accumulate and become more concentrated in animals at higher levels of the food chain. Also called bioaccumulation.
biome A large distinct biological community that evolved in response to a shared climatic region. All grasslands on Earth are an example of a biome.
biomimicry An approach by which scientists and engineers turn to nature to solve challenges or develop new technologies.
biomonitoring Using the presence, abundance, and health of organisms to infer the ecological condition of an ecosystem.
biopiracy The collection and use of biological materials for scientific, commercial, or personal benefit without appropriate permission or permits.
bioprospecting The continuous search for valuable or useful natural products.
bioregional management A management system that focuses on conservation across a single large ecosystem, particularly those that cross political borders.
biosorpsion The removal of heavy metals and toxic organic compounds from the environment by plants, microorganisms, and fungi.
biosphere reserve A protected areas model established by the UN to promote compatibility between biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and the well-being of local people.
biota All the plants, animals, and other wildlife of a region or ecosystem.
biotic attrition The net loss of local biodiversity as species immigrate in response to climate change.
bushmeat crisis The sharp decline in wild animal populations caused by humans hunting for food. It is a crisis because it leads to impoverished natural communities and declining food security.
bushmeat Wild sources of protein obtained on land by hunting and collecting birds, mammals, snails, and caterpillars.
bycatch Animals that are incidentally caught, injured, or killed during fishing operations.
catchment area An area of land in which all surface water (from rain, melting snow, and natural springs) drains off into a common outlet at a lower elevation. In this way, a trickle drains into rivulets, then into a stream, then a river, and eventually into a lake or the sea.
carbon credit A permit that allows the holder to produce a certain amount (usually one tonne) of carbon emissions without additional fines or penalties.
carbon neutral A lifestyle, industry, or activity with a net zero carbon footprint, achieved by balancing carbon emissions with carbon offsets, often in the form of buying carbon credits.
carbon sequestration The capture and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
carbon sink Natural environments such as oceans and forests that are characterised by their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
carbon trading The buying and selling of carbon credits.
carcinogenic compound A substance that causes cancer.
carnivore An animal whose diet consists primarily of meat, which can be obtained by scavenging or hunting.
carrying capacity The maximum number of individuals or quantity of biomass of a species that an ecosystem can sustainably support.
census A repeatable sampling protocol to estimate the abundance or density of a population or species.
chromosome Components in the cells of living organisms that carry genetic information.
circadian rhythms The inherent physiological and behavioural responses of living organisms that roughly follow light and darkness patterns in the 24-hour day cycle.
CITES See Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
citizen scientist A public volunteer participating in science projects.
climate change The complete set of climate characteristics — temperature; precipitation; pressure systems; wind patterns; and oceanic currents — that are changing both locally and regionally due to human influences.
climate corridor A habitat linkage specifically aimed at protecting the dispersal routes that species will use during climate adaptation.
climate refuge (plural: climate refugia) Areas that are resilient to climate change and, thus, able to continue to support climate-sensitive species in future.
climatic envelope The suitable climatic range within which an organism can live and reproduce.
climax species Species that are characteristic of ecosystems in the last stages of succession.
cloning The process of producing genetically identical individuals (called clones).
co-management A conservation strategy characterised by partnerships between different levels of society that share decision-making responsibilities and consequences of management actions.
coarse-filter assessments Methods to identify communities and ecosystems that are threatened, rather than evaluating each individual species in a community or ecosystem.
colonise The process whereby a population establishes itself in a new area.
committed to extinction Species that are so rare that they are virtually guaranteed of extinction in the near future. Also called functionally extinct.
commodity value See direct use value.
communal resources Common property resources that belong to the community rather than single individuals.
community conserved area A protected area managed by local people.
community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) A conservation model that involves transferring authority of natural resources and land to local communities.
confounding factor An unmeasured variable that influences other variables of interest, thereby causing erroneous results.
conservation advocacy Describes the roles that conservation biologists adopt to guide social, political, and economical systems towards a personally-preferred outcome — adopting environmentally-friendly practices. Compare to conservation science.
conservation agriculture Environmentally friendly agricultural practices that place an emphasis on ecosystem services such as natural pollination and biocontrol. Also known as sustainable agricultural intensification.
conservation biology An integrated, multidisciplinary subject that aims to ensure the long-term preservation of biodiversity.
conservation science Describes activities that conservation biologists undertake to objectively describe biodiversity and measure biodiversity’s response to stressors and safeguards. Compare to conservation advocacy.
conservation refugee A person whose life was uprooted by conservation activities. While conservation may involve restricting some human activities and, at times, even relocation, it is critical to assess whether it is necessary. If so, it is important to ensure opportunities exist so that those affected have other viable opportunities to sustain their livelihoods afterwards.
consumptive use value The value of natural resources consumed near where they are collected. Compare to productive use value.
contractual park Protected areas established and managed through agreements with private or communal landowners whose land forms part of the protected area (usually a national park).
controlled burn See prescribed burn.
convention International laws that that are negotiated at conferences under the authority of international bodies such as the UN. Also called treaty or international agreement.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) A treaty that obligates signatory countries to protect biodiversity through careful management of nature for the benefit of humans.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) The treaty that establishes lists (known as Appendices) of species for which member nations agree to ban, restrict, control, and monitor international trade.
cooperative breeder A social breeding system where only a few individuals in a group breed, while additional group members, called helpers, provide additional care for the offspring.
coral bleaching The breakdown of important symbiotic relationships between algae and coral when water is too warm, causing coral to die, during which they turn completely white.
crisis discipline Describes the reality that conservation biologists often face when they need to take creative steps to respond to imminent threats without complete knowledge of the systems requiring attention.
cross-fostering Conservation strategy in which a closely-related common species helps raise the offspring of a rare species.
cryopreservation Long-term preservation of purified DNA, eggs, sperm, embryos, and other tissue by freezing it at very low temperatures, usually in liquid nitrogen.
cryptic species An undescribed species that has been wrongly classified and grouped with a similar-appearing species.
customary law Customs and standards that have existed in a particular place or particular human society for generations, and that many formal law systems continue to regard as legal practice.
de-extinction Creating an organism that is genetically or visually like an extinct species.
debt-for-nature swap An agreement in which a developing country commits to fund conservation activities in exchange for cancellation of some of its debt.
decomposer Organisms (mainly bacteria, fungi, and protists) that break complex organic tissues and wastes into simple compounds by releasing enzymes, after which they absorb the nutrients. Compare to detritivores.
deep ecology The ethical view that species and biodiversity have an existence value independent from human needs, and that humans have an inherent responsibility to protect species and biodiversity.
deforestation The destruction of forests.
degazettement See PADDD.
demographic stochasticity Refers to variation in demographic traits (e.g. sex ratios, birth rates, death rates) of populations across years that cause population sizes to fluctuate. Also called demographic variation.
demographic study Monitors individuals of different ages and sizes over time to obtain a more comprehensive dataset than would be produced by a population census.
demographic variation See demographic stochasticity.
desertification The conversion of once-productive land to man-made deserts — large, dry unproductive dust bowls with no vegetation.
deterministic model A model with only one possible outcome. Compare to stochastic model.
detritivore Organisms such as earthworms, millipedes, slugs, and sea cucumbers that obtain nutrients by consuming decaying tissue and organic waste products. Compare to decomposers.
direct use value Values derived from the first-hand use of natural goods or services. Also known as commodity value.
DNA Acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the heredity material that stores genetic instructions for growth, reproduction, and functioning in all known living organisms.
DNA barcoding A technique used to rapidly identify unknown organisms or parts of organisms by comparing the unknown organism’s DNA with a database of DNA sequences to see where it matches.
drylands Ecosystems such as those in the Sahel that are characterised by water scarcity. In general, there is a balance between evaporation and precipitation, in contrast to deserts where there is more evaporation.
Earth observation satellite A satellite designed to collect information on Earth’s environment.
Earth Summit A major international conference, hosted by the UN in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, that resulted in several new high-profile environmental agreements. Also known as the Rio Summit.
eco-colonialism The unfortunate practice by some governments and conservation organisations of disregarding the rights and practices of local people during the establishment and management of new conservation areas or environmental laws and regulations.
ecological footprint A measure of the impact of humans in the environment, often expressed as the amount of land required to sustain all human activities.
ecological restoration The practice of restoring damaged ecosystems to their original or near-original state.
ecological trap A low-quality habitat that an organism mistakenly prefers to a high-quality habitat.
ecologically extinct A species that persists at such low numbers that its role in an ecosystem is negligible. Also called functionally extinct.
ecologically naïve Occurs when a species has not evolved with, and therefore does not recognise, a new danger such as a predator, and consequently does not defend itself from that threat.
ecologically relevant When a population or species is a self-sustaining, free from inbreeding, and an interactive participant of its community and ecosystem, it is considered ecologically relevant.
economic development Economic activities that aims to improve aspects such as income, health, and life expectancy, without necessarily increasing consumption of natural resources.
economic growth Economic activity based on an implicit but erroneous assumption that the supply of natural resources is unlimited.
ecoregion A relatively large geographical area that contains distinct natural communities that are separated from other ecoregions by vast oceans, broad deserts (e.g. Sahara in North Africa), or high mountains (e.g. Himalayas in Asia) that act as major barriers to movement.
ecosystem A community of interacting living organisms, together with its associated non-living chemical and physical environment. Compare to habitat.
ecosystem connectivity The ability of an ecosystem to facilitate dispersal of individuals between different areas.
ecosystem diversity The full variety of components that make up an ecosystem — i.e., assemblages of species and the physical environments in which they live. See also gamma diversity.
ecosystem engineer Organisms whose activities create, maintain, or modify ecosystems in such a way that they create or maintain suitable habitat for other species.
ecosystem management Activities that aim to preserve ecosystem components and processes.
ecosystem process The geochemical, physical, and biological processes and components that enable ecosystems to persist.
ecosystem productivity The ability of ecosystems to generate living biomass, starting with plants utilising the sun’s energy.
ecosystem services All the benefits people gain from ecosystems and other components of biodiversity. Compare to nature’s contributions to people (NCP).
ecotone See biogeographic transition zone.
ecotourism Tourism directed towards animals, plants, and other aspects of biodiversity.
edge effects Altered biological and environmental conditions associated with the edges of fragmented habitats.
effective population size (Ne) The number of individuals in a population that can breed with each other.
emigration The act of moving away from an area to settle in another. Compare to immigration.
endemic (species) A species native to one area and nowhere else on Earth.
energy efficient Products designed specifically to use less energy, especially from fossil fuels.
environmental crime An illegal act that directly harms the environment. These crimes are unique in that they have explicit laws and regulations that forbid them.
environmental economics A subdiscipline of economics that examines the contribution of ecosystem services to global economies, including the environmental costs of economic transactions and environmental policies.
environmental education Efforts to raise the public’s awareness and knowledge about the environment, so they can manage their behaviours to live sustainably.
environmental ethics A discipline within philosophy that emphasises the ethical value of biodiversity.
environmental impact assessment (EIA) Assessments performed prior to a new development to assess potential environmental damage the development may cause, and to identify steps that can be taken to mitigate the damage. Also called ecological risk analysis.
environmental justice A movement that aims to empower poor and marginalised people to protect the environment around them.
environmental stochasticity Describes environmental conditions that vary unpredictably, which in turn cause population sizes to fluctuate.
environmentalism A movement that aims to protect the natural environment for its own sake.
eutrophication The process during which aquatic environments are degraded by nutrient pollution. Often characterised by algal blooms, oxygen depletion, and dead zones.
evolution The process by which organisms develop new traits in response to selective pressures such as mate choice and environmental changes.
evolutionary definition of a species A group of individuals that share unique similarities in their genetic makeup and, hence, their evolutionary past. Compare to biological and morphological definition of species.
evolutionary significant unit (ESU) A population that is considered distinct for conservation purposes. ESUs are generally geographically isolated and thus have unique local adaptations and genetic markers that should be maintained to ensure persistence. Also called “stocks” in fisheries management.
ex situ conservation Caring for biodiversity under artificial, human-controlled conditions, such as in zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens. Compare to in situ conservation.
exclusive economic zones (EEZ) The oceanic waters and floor within a certain distance (generally 200 nautical miles or 370 km) from a country’s coast to which that country claims exclusive rights to marine resources.
existence value The benefit people receive from simply knowing that an ecosystem or species exists.
exotic species A species that has been introduced to areas outside of its natural distribution range by human activity. Also called a non-native species or alien species. Compare to endemic species.
experiment A procedure undertaken to support or refute a hypothesis.
extant species A species that is presently alive; the opposite of extinct.
externalities Hidden costs and benefits of economic activities that are passed on to people not directly involved in the transactions, or to society at large.
extinct (species) A species that has no living individuals; the opposite of extant.
extinction cascade A series of linked extinction events following one another.
extinction debt Describes the time lag between harmful activities and species extinctions.
extinction vortex Describes a process whereby the factors that affect small populations can drive its size progressively downward towards extinction.
extirpated See locally extinct.
extractive reserve A protected area that is managed primarily for the sustainable production of natural resources, such as timber.
extrapolation Estimating unknown trends or patterns from observations in another area or time.
feedback loop Occurs when a system’s outputs are routed back as input for that same system. Positive feedback loops amplify in outputs, while negative feedback loops reduce the outputs or buffer the system against changes.
feral (species) An escaped domestic species that has become wild.
fertiliser microdosing The application of very small quantities of fertiliser at the root of young crop plants. This lowers operational costs by reducing the amount of fertiliser required later and improving the efficiency of nutrient use by plants and microorganisms.
fire-dependent ecosystems Ecosystems that require periodic fires to persist.
fitness The relative ability of an individual to survive and reproduce.
flagship species A species that capture public attention, have symbolic value, and are important for ecotourism purposes.
focal species A species that provide the motivation to establish a protected area.
food chain The linear relationship between organisms at different trophic levels, where organisms at higher levels obtain nutrients and energy by feeding on organisms at lower levels.
food web A interconnected network of food chains that represent the feeding relationships among different organisms.
fortress conservation A school of thought that believes that conservation is best achieved by setting aside protected areas where nature can and should exist largely in isolation from human activities.
fossil fuels Energy sources, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, that formed over millions of years from the remains of living organisms buried in the Earth’s crust. Compare to bioenergy.
founder effect The situation where a new population established (“founded”) by only a few individuals have much less genetic diversity than the original population that the founders left behind.
fracking See hydrological fracturing.
free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) A formal process, meant to protect traditional people’s rights, that establishes bottom-up participation in activities on ancestral land. Consent sets a much higher threshold than consultation and includes veto power against projects that affect traditional lifestyles.
functionally extinct Describes species that are ecologically extinct (i.e. so rare that they do not contribute to ecosystem processes anymore), or species that are committed to extinction (i.e. virtually guaranteed of going extinct in the near future).
Gaia hypothesis The idea that all the biological, physical, and chemical properties on Earth interacts to form a complex, self-regulating superorganism, and that these interactions maintain the conditions necessary for life to persist.
gamma diversity The total number of species that occur across an entire region, such as a mountain range or continent, that includes many ecosystems.
gap analysis An analysis during which scientists overlay maps of species (or ecosystem) distributions with maps of protected areas to identify those species or ecosystems that are not covered under existing protected areas networks.
gene pool The total diversity of genes and alleles in a population or species.
gene The functional units of hereditary information that provide the blueprint of an organisms
general circulation models (GCM) The most popular group of mathematical models used to predict the impact of climate change.
generalist species A species that can live in a variety of different environments. Compare to specialist species.
genetic diversity The full range of variability in genetic material within a species. Compare to genetic variation.
genetic drift A random reduction in the relative abundance of alleles in small populations.
genetic pollution The uncontrolled flow of genetic material from one species or population to another during hybridisation. Also called genetic swamping or genetic mixing.
genetic variation Genetic differences between different individuals of a population. Compare to genetic diversity.
genetically modified organism (GMO) An organism that can provide useful or improved products and services after its genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
genome resource bank Frozen collection of DNA, eggs, sperm, embryos, germplasms, and other kinds of genetic materials that are preserved for scientific research and breeding programmes.
genotype The particular mix of genes and alleles in an individual.
genus (plural: genera) A taxonomic rank in the biological classification system that comes above species and below family. Often abbreviated to the first letter on second use. For example, the genus elephant (Loxodonta) contains two species, the savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the forest elephant (L. cyclotis).
geographic information systems (GIS) Computer software packages used to store, display, manipulate, and analyse data representing the natural environment, biodiversity, and human land-use patterns.
geological epoch A major subdivision of Earth’s geological recent history that ends with -cene. Important epochs include the Pleistocene (also known as the Ice Age), Holocene, and Anthropocene (the current human-dominated era).
geospatial analysis Data analysis techniques that use GIS software to better understand spatial relationships between different GIS datasets.
ghost fishing A term used when fishing gear that was lost, dumped, or abandoned continues to catch (and kill) aquatic organisms.
glacial period Periods of time in Earth’s history, known as ice ages, noted for colder temperatures and moving glaciers — massive, heavy ice sheets constantly moving under its own weight. The most recent glacial period ended about 15,000 years ago.
Global Biodiversity Hotspots Thirty-six (36) regions with extraordinary high number of species, many of which are endemic, that are also under immediate and intense threat from human activity.
global warming The general trend of increasing global temperatures due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
globalisation The increased integration, interaction, and interdependence among different economies, governments, and organisations across the world.
globally extinct No living individuals of that species remain anywhere in the world.
governance The formal and informal rules and norms that guide societal functioning.
green infrastructure Urban infrastructure (i.e. green roofs, wetlands, and permeable surfaces) that is constructed in such a way that it harnesses free ecosystem services. Green infrastructure is more effective, attractive, and cheaper than conventional infrastructure.
greenhouse effect Warming caused by heat trapped near the Earth’s surface by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
greenhouse gases Transparent gases in the atmosphere that function much like the glass covering a greenhouse by allowing sunlight to pass through the atmosphere but trapping the reflected heat energy so that it stays close to Earth’s surface.
greenwashing Misuse of terms, such as sustainable development, environmentally friendly, or “green” as it pertains to environmentally sound choices in order to hide activities that are harming the environment.
groundwater Subsurface reservoirs of freshwater, held in underground aquifers, in rock fissures, and in the pores between sand, dirt, and gravel particles.
gross domestic product (GDP) The value of all goods produced, and services provided, in a country over the course of one year.
habitat A species-specific term that refers to the suitable area within which an organism can find food, shelter, and mates for reproduction. Compare to ecosystem, the term used to describe a suitable area for a wide variety of species.
habitat corridor See habitat linkage.
habitat degradation The process whereby humans alter a natural ecosystem so much that it cannot support its characteristic species anymore.
habitat fragmentation The process whereby human activities reduce once large, unending wildernesses to several increasingly smaller and isolated ecosystem fragments.
habitat interior Habitat away from edges and associated altered environmental conditions. Also called core habitat.
habitat linkage Connection between protected areas that allows for dispersal and migration. Also known as habitat corridor, movement corridor, or wildlife corridor. Compare to stepping stone habitat.
habitat loss The outright destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems.
habitat matrix An area of unsuitable habitat that surrounds a suitable habitat patch.
habituate Slowly making an animal used to the presence of people, to give tourists a more intimate wildlife experience.
hard release A translocation strategy that involves releasing individuals without assistance. Compare to soft release.
head-starting A programme that raises threatened animals in captivity during their young, vulnerable stages before they are released into the wild.
healthy ecosystem A subjective term that describes a complex and adaptive ecosystem in which all the different ecosystem processes are intact and functioning normally.
heavy metals Metals, such as mercury, lead, and bismuth, with relatively high densities or atomic weights that are toxic in high amounts and often biomagnify in the environment.
herbarium (plural: herbaria) A collection of plant specimens with their provenance data (e.g. location, how collected, collector name), preserved for scientific study.
herbivore A species that gets its nutrients and energy from eating photosynthetic plants. Also called a primary consumer.
heterosis A level of genetic variation that improves individual evolutionary fitness.
heterozygous Condition where an individual received different two alleles of the same gene from their parents.
homozygous Condition where an individual received two identical alleles from each parent.
human-wildlife conflict Situations where humans are negatively impacted during their interaction with wildlife.
husbandry Techniques used in the care, cultivation, and breeding of plants and animals, often in captivity.
hybrid Offspring that results from mating between individuals from closely-related species.
hybrid vigour Hybrid offspring that are so strong in an evolutionary sense that they outcompete their parent species.
hydrocarbons Compounds of hydrogen and carbon molecules; one of the primary components of fossil fuels.
hydrological fracturing The environmentally destructive process where subterranean rock is forced open by pressurised liquid to release oil or gas inside. Poses several environmental and human health hazards.
immigration The act of moving into a new area with the aim of settling down there. Compare to emigration.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) A programme by BirdLife International that uses set criteria to identify areas that are globally important for the conservation of populations.
in situ conservation Protecting existing populations and ecosystems in the wild. Compare to ex situ conservation.
inbreeding depression Reduced offspring fitness following mating among closely-related individuals.
inbreeding Mating among closely-related individuals; includes self-fertilisation.
indicator species Sensitive species that are used for ecosystem monitoring and evaluate conservation actions.
indirect use value The value we gain from biodiversity — water filtration by wetlands, soil protection by plants, ecotourism — that does not involve harvesting or destroying the natural resource. Also known as public goods, or non-consumptive use value.
Industrial Revolution The period from about 1760 to around 1830 when rural societies became industrial and urban due, primarily, to a shift from homemade/handmade products to machine-powered, special purpose production of goods, especially in the agricultural and textiles sectors.
integrated conservation A conservation paradigm that focuses on the social and economic benefits of conservation. It is often associated with landscape-scale action and collaborations between a wide variety of stakeholders, including private business and local communities. Compare to fortress conservation.
integrated conservation and development project (ICDP) Conservation project that also provides for the economic needs and welfare of local people.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Leading scientists brought together by the UN to study the causes and implications of climate change.
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Leading scientists brought together by the UN to study nature’s contributions to people (NCP).
intermediate disturbance hypothesis A theory that predicts that intermediate levels of disturbance maximises biodiversity because it increases opportunities for a greater variety of species to live in an area.
intrinsic value Values attached to nature for its own sake, independent of human benefits.
introduction Creating a new population by moving individuals to suitable areas outside that species’ historical range.
invasive species A species that causes ecological and/or economic harm to areas outside its native range.
island biogeography A model that predicts that more species live on larger islands than smaller islands; the model can be used to predict the impact of habitat loss on species extinctions, by viewing remaining habitat as an “island” in the “sea” of a degraded ecosystem.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) A major international conservation organisation who, among other tasks, maintains Red Lists of threatened species. Previously known as the World Conservation Union.
Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) An area deemed a conservation priority based on standardised criteria and thresholds that account for concentrations of threatened species and/or globally significant population aggregations.
keystone resource See limiting resource.
keystone species Species that constitute only a small proportion of their ecosystem’s overall living biomass but have such disproportionately important roles that their disappearance would lead to drastic environmental changes.
Kyoto Protocol An international treaty adopted in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997 where governments committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
land grabbing Contentious large-scale land acquisitions by foreign companies and individuals, generally to produce food and biofuels for their own people, with little to no benefit to the local community.
land reclamation The process of rehabilitating degraded land to a more productive state.
land sharing A conservation philosophy — based on the premise that humans and nature can coexist sustainably — proposing that food be produced in areas of low-yielding, wildlife-friendly agriculture on a larger land footprint. Compare to land sparing.
land sparing A conservation philosophy — based on the premise that humans and nature cannot coexist — proposing that areas set aside for intensive (and not necessarily nature-friendly) agriculture would leave more areas of untouched wilderness. Compare to land sharing.
Lazarus species Species that were believed to be extinct only to be miraculously discovered later. Essentially a metaphorical return from the dead, much like the biblical story of Lazarus.
leaching The loss of water-soluble nutrients from the soil by excessive irrigation or runoff.
legal title The right to land ownership that is recognised by the government.
light pollution Excessive and inappropriate artificial light that negatively impacts biodiversity.
limiting resource Any requirement that restricts the size or distribution of a population, and without which the population cannot survive. Also called keystone resource.
locally extinct A species that no longer exists in a place where it used to occur, but still exists elsewhere. Also called extirpated.
lumping A conservative taxonomic approach that prefers to combine two or more closely-related taxa into a single taxon. Compare to splitting.
management plan A formal document that describes how a protected area should be run to accomplish its goals and objectives.
mangrove swamp A type of tropical coastal wetland characterised by distinctive woody plants with aerial roots that can tolerate saltwater.
marine protected area (MPA) Protected areas specifically seeking to protect our oceanic and coastal environments.
market failure Misallocation of resources, which allow a small number of people or businesses to profit or benefit at the expense of the rest of society, who will bear much of these costs in the future.
mass extinction event Periods characterised by the widespread extinction of many species over a short period of time.
maximum sustainable yield The greatest number of individuals that can be harvested without detriment to a population.
megafauna Very large animals that typically weigh over 1,000 kg. Generally considered to be rhinoceros, hippopotamus, whales, giraffes, and elephants.
mesopredator release Situation where mid-sized predators (e.g. jackal) flourish in the absence of their natural enemies. Associated with lethal control of apex predators (e.g. leopards) that endanger livestock.
metapopulation Shifting populations linked by movements between them. In essence, a “population of populations”.
microclimate A distinctive climate restricted in a small area that differs from the climate of the surrounding area.
microloans Very small loans offered to very poor borrowers that lack a credit record, collateral, or even access to banking accounts. These loans are meant to promote economic development and help the borrowers out of poverty by providing seed money for a business; the loan is paid back once the business is successful.
microplastics Plastic particles smaller than 1 mm (some are microscopic) that are either manufactured intentionally small or originate from the breakdown of larger pieces of plastic.
migratory (species) A species in which a significant proportion of individuals cyclically and predictably move from one area to another in search of seasonally available resources. Compare to nomadic species and resident species.
minimum dynamic area (MDA) The smallest area of suitable habitat required to sustain a minimum viable population.
minimum viable population (MVP) The smallest number of individuals necessary for a population to have a chance of long-term persistence.
mixed-use zoning See zoning
morphological definition of species Individuals that are distinct from other groups in their morphology, physiology, or biochemistry.
morphology The appearance of an organism, which includes external (e.g. shape, colour, size, structure, patterns) and internal features (i.e. anatomy).
morphospecies A species that is distinct based on their appearance that do not yet have a scientific name.
mountain-top extinction Climate change driven extinction of specialist species living on mountain tops which cannot disperse elsewhere without leaving their habitat.
movement corridor See habitat linkage.
mutations Changes in genes and chromosomes that give rise to genetic variation.
mutualistic relationship A biological (symbiotic) relationship where two species benefit each other. Compare to parasitism.
Nagoya Protocol The shortened name for the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international agreement through the UN to prevent biopiracy.
native species A species occurring in a place naturally, without the influence of people. Compare to invasive species.
natural history The observational study of animals, plants, and other aspects of biodiversity. Also used to refer to the ecology and other distinctive characters of a species.
natural resources Aspects of biodiversity that are valued by people.
natural selection Changes in a population in response to specific factors in the environment and sexual selection whereas those with the most adaptive traits are best able to survive.
naturalised An exotic species that is thoroughly integrated in their new environment.
naturalist A person who studies or is an expert in natural history.
nature deficit disorder A situation where spending less time in nature lead to behavioural problems in children that lasts through adulthood.
nature’s contributions to people (NCP) All the positive (e.g. food provisioning) and negative (e.g. disease transmission) contributions of biodiversity to people’s quality of life. Compare to ecosystem services.
neocolonialism The use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to gain control or influence over other countries or regions. See also land grabbing.
niche A multi-dimensional space that explains the role and position of a species in its environment. It includes essential resource limits, as well as the species’ interactions with its biotic and abiotic environment.
niche model See species distribution model.
no-take zone An area where hunting, fishing, and collection of natural products are not allowed.
noise pollution Excessive and inappropriate man-made noise that negatively impacts biodiversity.
nomadic (species) A species in which a significant proportion of individuals have no fixed territories, and wander from place to place, in search of limited resources, with no fixed route. Compare to resident species.
non-consumptive use value The benefits gained from natural resources that are not collected, harvested, consumed, converted, or destroyed during use.
non-invasive techniques Research techniques that cause minimal disturbance to study individuals or study sites.
non-governmental organisation (NGO) A private organisation that acts to benefit society in some way; many conservation organisations are NGOs.
normative discipline A discipline that incorporates human values, not just facts, and uses scientific methods to understand those values and achieve its goals. Compare to scientific discipline.
nutrient pollution Excessive nutrients added to water bodies, causing excessive algae growth and eutrophication.
ocean acidification The decrease in the pH of a marine environment, caused by the excessive uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
ocean deoxygenation See ocean suffocation.
ocean suffocation Warmer surface water absorbs less atmospheric oxygen; this combined with decreased circulation of dissolved oxygen to deeper waters, due to climate change, limits the available oxygen for marine fauna. Also known as ocean deoxygenation.
ocean warming Increased water temperatures in oceanic environments due to climate change.
old-growth forest A forest that has never been logged.
omnivore A species that obtain energy and nutrients by eating both plants and animals.
open-access resources Natural resources such as water, air, and fish populations that are freely used by many different groups of people. Also called common-pool resources.
option value The potential of an organism to provide a currently unknown economic benefit at some point in the future.
outbreeding The situation where individuals of different species or same species with different adaptations (perhaps from distant populations) mate to produce offspring.
outbreeding depression Lowered fitness that occasionally occurs when individuals of different species or of widely different populations mate and produce offspring. Lowered fitness is caused by inheritance of traits not well-suited to the current environment.
overexploitation See overharvesting.
overharvesting Harvesting of natural resources at rates faster than recovery, causes the natural resource’s decline or loss. Also known as overexploitation.
ozone layer An area in the stratosphere, consisting of high ozone (O3) concentrations, that shields humans and biodiversity from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
PADDD Acronym for protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement, the legal process through which protected areas become weaker and smaller, or their protection is eliminated completely.
palustrine ecosystems Freshwater ecosystems, such as some wetlands and bogs, characterised by non-flowing water.
paper park Parks that appear on official government lists, but are invisible on the ground, thus providing little contribution to conservation.
parasitic (relationship) A biological relationship between two organisms from which one species benefits while the other is negatively affected. Compare to mutualistic relationship.
Paris Agreement The world’s first comprehensive agreement on climate change, aimed to hold global warming below 2°C through fossil fuel divestment and financing measures such as forest protection.
passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags Tracking tags with internal microchips that can be used to identify an animal or plant in which it is implanted.
pastoralist Nomadic livestock farmers who move their herds in search of fresh pasture and water.
payment for ecosystem services (PES) Markets that enable landowners to receive direct payments for protecting and restoring ecosystems and ecosystems services.
persecution Indiscriminate mistreatment or killing of a group of animals such as predators.
persistent organic pollutants (POP) Harmful organic pollutants that bioaccumulate because they are resistant to environmental degradation.
perverse subsidies Financial incentives governments provide to industries that result in environmentally destructive activities.
pesticide drift The process in which pesticides are being transported away from their source through air, along rivers, and even in groundwater.
phenological mismatch The disruption of timed aspects of a species’ life cycle, such as migration and breeding, which may cause some populations to decline and others to increase in abundance. Often used when referring to the impacts of climate change. Also called trophic asynchrony.
phenotype An organism’s morphology, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry, as an expression of an individual’s genotype.
phenotypic plasticity The ability of an organism to change its phenotype in response to changes in the environment.
photochemical smog Air pollution, visible to the naked eye, that forms when chemical pollutants in the atmosphere react with ultraviolet light from the sun.
photosynthesis The process through which plants (and some other organisms) convert sunlight energy into chemical energy, the “fuel” required to sustain life.
pioneer species The first species to colonise an area during the process of ecological succession.
plant blindness A common perception that animals take precedence above plants, the latter seen as the backdrop of the environment rather than the critical foundation of every natural community and food web on Earth.
polymorphic gene A gene that has multiple forms or alleles.
population A group of individuals of the same species that interact with one another. Compare to metapopulation.
population and habitat viability assessments (PHVA) Population viability assessments that also consider an ecosystem’s ability to support viable wildlife populations.
population biology The study of population dynamics over time and space.
population bottleneck The phenomenon when small population size lead to the loss of rare alleles, and thus genetic diversity, from one generation to the next.
population health and the environment (PHE) Human development that integrates family planning and human health with biodiversity conservation to achieve better outcomes than with single-sector approaches.
population rescue A type of metapopulation where continuous movement of individuals from a source population prevents a sink population from going extinct.
population viability analysis (PVA) A risk assessment for a species or population that uses demographic data and mathematical methods to predict the likelihood of a population or species going extinct at some point in the future.
predator Animals, such as a sharks and lions, that hunt, kill, and eat other animals. Compare to carnivore.
prescribed burn A fire set deliberately to maintain a fire-adapted ecosystem and to avoid dangerous accumulation of fuel loads. Also called a controlled burn.
prey An animal that is hunted by a predator.
primary consumer See herbivore.
primary producer Green plants, algae, seaweeds, and other photosynthetic organisms that obtain their energy directly from the sun. Also known as autotrophs.
primary productivity See ecosystem productivity.
productive use value The value of natural resources that is sold at markets. Compare to consumptive use value.
protected area An area managed primarily for the maintenance of biodiversity.
public outreach Efforts, such as public talks, workshops, school visits, and guided walks, aimed at raising the general public’s awareness and understanding of conservation activities.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands An international agreement that recognises the ecological, scientific, economic, cultural, and recreational value of freshwater, estuarine, and coastal marine ecosystems.
range-restricted (species) A species that occurs in a geographically small area and nowhere else.
range-shift gap When a physical gap in suitable habitat prevents a species from dispersing from one place to another.
rapid biodiversity assessment (RAP) A biodiversity inventory compiled under tight deadlines to answer urgent questions and inform urgent decisions. Also known as a rapid assessment plan.
reconciliation ecology The science of establishing and maintaining areas to protect biodiversity where people live and work.
recruitment The increase in a population’s number of reproducing individuals as immigrants arrive or young become old enough to reproduce. Described in plant ecology as the presence of seedlings or newly germinated individuals, not vegetative reproduction.
Red Data Books See Red Lists.
Red List criteria Quantitative measures developed to reflect a taxon’s (or ecosystem’s) risk of extinction.
Red Lists Detailed lists of threatened wildlife compiled by the IUCN and its affiliate organisations.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) A UN programme that uses financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to ecosystem destruction.
reference site A control site (or ecosystem) that provide a practical target for restoration and can be used to quantitatively assess of the success of a restoration project.
refugee species Species pushed to live or persist in suboptimal habitat by threats present in more suitable areas.
reintroduction Releasing individuals into areas where they occurred in the past but where they no longer occur.
relict species A member of a once diverse and widespread group of species that has continued to survive while its close relatives have gone extinct.
remote sensing Obtaining ecosystem data without making physical contact (i.e. boots on the ground) with the observation site, using e.g. satellite images and aerial photographs.
resident species Species that do not depend on dispersal (migration or nomadism) for survival.
resilience The ability to rapidly recover after a disturbance event.
resistance The ability to maintain stable throughout and after a disturbance event.
restocking Increasing the size and genetic diversity of existing populations by releasing individuals that have been raised in captivity or that have been collected from other wild populations. Also referred to as augmentation.
restoration ecology The scientific study of restoring damaged ecosystems, communities, and populations.
resurrection biology See de-extinction.
Rio Summit See Earth Summit.
riparian zone The area directly next to a water feature, such as a riverine forest.
rivet-popper hypothesis Compares biodiversity to the rivets that hold the airliner together; just as an airliner can only lose so many rivets before it falls apart, so will the progressive loss of species systematically weaken ecosystem stability until it collapses. Compare to species redundancy hypothesis.
Sahel An ecological transition zone that stretches across the northern parts of Africa; separates the Sahara Desert (north) from tropical Africa (south).
scavenger An animal that feeds on dead plant material, animal carcasses, and items discarded by humans.
scientific discipline A discipline that embraces knowledge based on observable phenomena that can be verified by other researchers working under the same conditions. Compare to normative discipline.
scientific method Creation of new knowledge and the verification of existing knowledge through systematic observations and measurements.
sea level rise The increase in the volume of water in the world’s oceans due to climate change, resulting in an increase in global mean sea level.
secondary consumer Predators and carnivores that eat other animals.
secondary poisoning Non-target individuals that are poisoned or killed when they come into contact with poisons, such as insecticides.
seed bank (1) A ex situ collection of seeds that is stored for conservation of genetic diversity; (2) a natural in situ collection of dormant seed present in the soil.
seed disperser An animal that moves plant seeds away from parent plants, thereby allowing seedlings to colonise new areas away from parent plants and siblings.
seed scarification The weakening or opening of a seed’s coat, which can happen chemically, thermally, or mechanically during seed dispersal. Scarification is a prerequisite for germination of many seeds.
sensitivity analysis Exploratory analyses where key assumptions, computations, and/or input are systematically changed, and subsequent results compared with the original model to assess the effect of those changes on model output.
sentinel species A species used as an early warning system for environmental hazards because they are more sensitive to certain conditions than humans.
shifting baseline syndrome Judging ecosystem condition against reference points (baselines) which themselves represent significant changes from an even earlier state of the system.
shifting cultivation See slash-and-burn agriculture.
siltation The process by which water becomes turbid due to fine soil particles suspended in the water. Associated with erosion and runoff.
sink population A subpopulation, which is part of a metapopulation, that receives new individuals from a connected source population.
sixth extinction episode The current mass extinction event, caused by human activities.
slash-and-burn agriculture Traditional farming practice in which farmers prepare agricultural lands by clearing land for fuel wood followed by burning the remaining vegetation for fertilisation. Crops are then grown for a few years before the plot is abandoned and the process is repeated elsewhere. Also called shifting cultivation.
SLOSS debate A discussion framework that conservation biologists use to debate the relative advantages of a single large conservation areas over several small conservation areas.
smallholder farmer Farmers that own small plots of land and rely on family labour to grow subsistence crops.
Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) An international non-profit professional organisation with a mission to advance the science and practice of conserving the Earth’s biological diversity.
soft release A translocation strategy that involves keeping individuals in an enclosed area at the release site for a period of time before release; it may also include some form of assistance after release to increase opportunities for success. Compare to hard release.
source population A subpopulation, which is part of a metapopulation, from which individuals are dispersed to other locations.
specialist species A species adapted to a restricted set of environmental conditions, or have very particular (e.g. dietary, temperature) needs. Compare to generalist species.
speciation The formation of a new species through evolution and genetic drift.
species distribution model (SDM) The process of using geospatial analysis to predict the distribution of species based the distribution of suitable environmental conditions.
species diversity The full variety of species from single-celled organisms, like bacteria, to larger multicellular organisms, like animals and everything in between.
species redundancy hypothesis Holds that ecosystem stability is best maintained by ensuring that there is redundancy in ecosystem functioning, accomplished by ensuring that each ecosystem has a variety of (seemingly redundant) species performing similar roles.
species richness The total number of species found at a location or in a community.
species-area relationship The prediction that large areas (islands, habitats) contain more species than smaller areas because large areas are better buffered from extinction events since they can maintain large enough populations to ensure long-term persistence.
splitting A liberal taxonomic approach that prefers to classify closely-related taxa as individual entities. Compare to lumping.
stepping stone habitat A special type of habitat linkage that facilitates dispersal along a patchwork of isolated habitat patches within a matrix of unsuitable or inhospitable habitat.
stochastic model A model where each iteration will result in a different outcome. Compare to deterministic model.
stochasticity Random variation that happens by chance.
subpopulation A subset of a larger population. Often used in reference to fragmented populations or metapopulations.
substitute species A common species used to fill persistent data gaps that affects the conservation management of an at-risk species. Compare to surrogate species.
succession Describes the gradual process during which ecosystems change after a disturbance; these changes can include changes to the species present, the soil chemistry, and microclimatic characteristics. More generally known as ecological succession,
surrogate species A common species, closely related to one or more species of concern, that is used to assess broader biodiversity patterns during conservation planning studies. Compare to substitute species.
surveys A catch-all term that describes methods to monitor aspect of biodiversity, such as population size or ecosystem health.
sustainable agricultural intensification See conservation agriculture.
sustainable development Economic activities that satisfies both present and future needs for resources and employment without compromising the natural world.
symbiotic relationship A biological relationship (e.g. parasitism) between two organisms. Obligate symbiosis describes a relationship where one species cannot survive without the other, while facultative symbiosis describes a relationship in which one species can live independent of the other. Compare to mutualistic relationship.
systematic conservation planning A structured approach to identifying conservation priorities by identifying the species or populations that lack protection and identifying the actions or areas that will best fill those protection gaps.
taxon (plural: taxa) A catch-all term describing biological units of classification, such as a single species or a group of related species. All monkeys fall under the order Primates, but they are also part of the class Mammalia. Species, orders, and classes are all distinct taxa, or taxonomic groups.
taxonomist Specialist scientist involved in the identification, classification, and naming of species.
thermal pollution The degradation of an environment by changing its temperature. Often used when referring to aquatic ecosystems.
thermal shock Rapid changes in water temperatures leading to excessive stress or damage to aquatic ecosystems.
threatened species A species that is classified as Vulnerable, Endangered, or Extinct according to the IUCN Red List criteria, and thus considered at risk of extinction if current conditions persist.
traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) Evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous and local peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the environment. Also called local ecological knowledge.
traditional people Self-sufficient human societies that have lived a rural, non-industrialised lifestyle for many generations, depend on the land and self-harvested natural resources for survival, and are not integrated into mainstream society. Sometimes also called traditional tribes, protecting their cultural practices and way of life has special status under international law.
tragedy of the commons The gradual loss of open-access resources because of unregulated use.
transfrontier conservation area (TFCA) A large region that crosses international boundaries and encompasses one or more protected areas as well as the surrounding multi-use areas, all managed as a single conservation unit.
translocation The capture, transport, and release of animals or plants from one location to another.
treaty See convention.
trophic asynchrony See phenological mismatch.
trophic cascade The situation where one keystone species’ loss has rippling effects at other trophic levels.
trophic levels The different levels in a biological community (e.g. primary producer; herbivore; carnivore, decomposer), each sharing the same position in a food chain.
umbrella species A species whose protection indirectly benefits other species and ecosystem components with which they share their landscape.
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Manages the list of World Heritage Sites.
United Nations An intergovernmental organisation that promotes international co-operation and facilitates international law and order.
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Coordinates the UN’s environmental activities, including assisting developing countries in implementing sound environmental policies and practices.
urban heat island effect Occurs when absorbed sun energy from modified surfaces, such as asphalt roads, causes urban areas to be warmer than the surrounding natural environment.
urbanisation The increase in the proportion of people moving from rural areas to live in urban areas.
use value The direct and indirect benefits humans gain from biodiversity.
voluntary transaction The assumption that monetary transactions take place only when it benefits both parties involved. This principle frequently fails to account for harm to people not directly involved in the transaction and to society leading to market failure.
wilderness areas Large blocks of land that have been minimally affected by human activity, have a low human population density, and are not likely to be developed soon.
wildlife In the context of this textbook, the term refers to all the wild organisms on Earth, including but not restricted to animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria.
wildlife corridor See habitat linkage.
wildlife crossing A structure, such as an underpass tunnel, overpass or canopy bridge of fish ladder, that enables wildlife to safely disperse over human-made barriers.
wildlife trafficking The illegal trade of protected species and their body parts.
wilful ignorance Purposefully ignoring the environmental damage caused directly or indirectly by their activities.
World Bank An international financial institution that provides loans for development projects in developing countries.
World Heritage Site Natural and/or cultural areas of international significance recognised by the United Nations.
World Parks Congress Organised by the IUCN every 10 years, it is the largest gathering of organisations and individuals involved in protected areas management worldwide.
zoning A management method of dealing with conflicting demands on protected areas by setting aside designated areas where certain regulated human activities are permitted.
zoonotic disease Diseases, such as rabies, that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Compare to anthroponotic disease.