A glossary of definitions for terms relating to biodiversity, ecosystems services and conservation.
All definitions are referenced, where possible preference has been given to internationally recognised definitions (for example those defined by international conventions or agreements). The terms have been chosen to support understanding of biodiversity and conservation issues, and terms relating to biodiversity loss are complemented by those relating to conservation responses supported by international conservation organisations, governments, scientists and business sectors.
More detailed explanations are provided for a number of key terms, to provide further background information.
The terms can be filtered by category to aid in the navigation of the many definitions.
An area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which:
generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable;
has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation;
has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and
may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.