Wildlife Encounters - 5th - 8th grade
Lesson 2: Wildlife Populations

Key Words

Adaptation: a physical trait or behavior of a species that helps it to survive

Altricial Offspring: animals which are born helpless and require care by their parents for a specific amount of time before becoming independent

Camouflage: physical characteristics that allow an animal to blend into its environment

Community: all the populations in one defined area that interact

Competition: a contest between individuals for resources

Conspecific: animals of the same species

Diurnal: an animal that is active primarily during the day

Emigration: to leave a geographic area to live elsewhere

Fecundity: a description of the number of offspring produced by an individual

Fledgling: a young bird that has recently left the nest after developing feathers


Food Web: A description of how all the species in an ecosystem use other species in that ecosystem for food.

Generalist Species: a species that is able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and that can make use of a variety of different resources for food and shelter

Habituation: when an animal loses its fear of people

Hibernate (Hibernation): a period of decreased activity exhibited by some species, usually during seasons when resources are scarce

Immigration: to come into a new geographic area to live

Imprinting: an animal that learns its species identity from the human or animal raising it

Interspecific: interactions between different species

Migration: moving from one region or climate to another, usually on a regular schedule, for feeding or breeding

Morph: animals of the same species with different colors or appearances

Natural History: the way a species interacts with its habitat, and the other species within it

Natural Resource: a valuable source of food, shelter, or energy used by a species to survive

Nocturnal: an animal that is active primarily at night

Orphaned Wildlife: a young wild animal who has either been abandoned by their parents or whose parents have died

Population: a group of organisms of the same species living in a particular area or habitat

Precocial Offspring: animals which are born with their eyes and ears open, and able to move within their habitat

Predator: an animal that lives by killing and eating other animals

Prey: an animal hunted or killed by another animal as food

Range: the geographic area over which a species of animal or plant is found naturally

Specialist Species: a species that requires unique environmental conditions or diet to survive

Territory: an area that is occupied and defended by an animal or group of animals

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