Glossary

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The glossary below consists of terms used in the standard background pages and easy background pages.

adaptation

Physical and behavioural changes over time to fit new environments or conditions.

clutch

A group of eggs laid together. 

Department of Conservation (DOC)

The state sector organization which deals with the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage.

endangered species

A group of animals that is declining in numbers and may become extinct soon.

endemic

Plants and animals that live only in New Zealand.

extinct

Having died out or ceased to exist.

habitat

Living place of plant or animal. incubate Keeping eggs warm by sitting on them.

juvenile

A plant or animal that has not yet reached maturity.

mammal

Warm-blooded animals with hair that breathe air, give birth to live young and nourish their young with milk.

nocturnal

Animals that are active at night rather than during the day.

omnivore

Animal that eats both plants and animals. 

plumage

A bird’s feathers.

predator

An animal that hunts and kills other animals for food.

prey

Verb - The act of hunting, catching, killing, and eating. Noun - The animal that is being hunted.

restoration

Environmental restoration includes cleaning up rubbish, planting natives, removing predators and weeds, removing exotic plants and reducing human impacts such as pollution. Restoration projects require good planning, knowledge of how the area used to function before it was changed by people and ongoing maintenance.

sanctuary

A place where wildlife is protected.

species

In classification, a species is a group of closely related organisms that can reproduce. A group of similar species forms a genus. In the scientific name of an organism, the second name is its species (for example, people are Homo sapiens - our species is sapiens).

territory

An area that an animal considers its own.

translocation

The managed movement of live native plants or animals (taonga) from one location to another. Translocation covers the entire process, including planning, the transfers, release, monitoring and post-release management.