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Glossary

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adaptation

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

adventure

An exciting or unusual experience that may involve some level of risk and have an uncertain outcome.

biodiversity

Many different types of plants and animals.

catchment

The entire area from which drainage water is received by a body of water such as a river or swamp.

ecology

The study of living things in relation to each other and to where they live.

ecosystem

A community of organisms together with the environment that they inhabit and depend on.

elevation

The height in metres above mean sea level.

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.

expedition

A journey or voyage undertaken for a specific purpose or goal with no certain outcome.

farm

An area of land used to grow crops and/or raise lifestock.

fauna

Animals of a particular area.

flora

Plants of a particular area.

food chain 

An arrangement of organisms in a community according to which organism is eaten or eats another. Food chains always start with a plant (or plants).

food web 

A system of food chains linked to one another.

groundwater

Water found beneath the surface of the land.

habitat

Living place of plant or animal.

hauora

The physical, mental and emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of well-being.

hiking

Going on long walks in the countryside.

intentions form

A form which is filled out to inform people of where in the outdoors you are going and when you are expected to return so a rescue can be organised if you do not return.

inter-montane

Lying between mountains.

introduced

Brought into the New Zealand environment.

invertebrate

Any animal that does not have a spinal cord at any stage of its life such as worms, insects, spiders, crustaceans and molluscs.

mammalian predators

New Zealand’s native species have been decimated by the introduction of a variety of predatory mammals including rats, cats, possums and stoats.

migration/migrate

A seasonal journey from one region to another.

mustelid

Stoats, ferrets and weasels.

National Park

A reserve of natural land owned by the government set aside for environmental protection and recreation.

native

Found naturally in one country but may also be found naturally in other countries e.g. fantails are found in New Zealand but also in Australia.

niche

How an organism makes a living. It describes things such as an organism's life history, its habitat, its position in a food chain and food web and its geographic range. No two species can occupy the same niche in the same environment for a long time.

nutrients

Elements or compounds essential as raw materials to sustain life.

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

A device used to transmit an emergency distress signal which allows people to be located using GPS co-ordinates so they can be rescued.

pollution

The presence of unwanted matter or energy (heat, noise, etc.) that have harmful effects on living or non-living matter.

sub-alpine

The area above the treeline but below the alpine rocky zone where very little grows.

sustainable

Using natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area.

tramping

The New Zealand term for hiking.

vertebrates

Animals with backbones.

wind chill

A measure of how cold it feels when the affect of the wind is taken into account.