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Oregon Wildlife Species Glossary

Arboreal: Species adapted for living and moving about in trees.

Avifauna: The birds of a specific region or period.

Bovid: Of or belonging to the family Bovidae, which includes hoofed, hollow-horned ruminants such as cattle, sheep, goats, and buffaloes.

Brackish: Water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing of seawater with fresh water, as in estuaries.

Canid: A member of the Canidae family, the biological family of the dog.

Carnivore: Any of various predatory, flesh-eating mammals of the order Carnivora

Cascade Range: The Cascade Range (or Cascades) is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California.

Cervid: A member of the Cervidae family, the biological family of the deer.

Cirque: A bowl-shaped depression with very steep sides that forms at the head of a mountain glacier. Forms from cold-climate weathering processes including frost wedging and plucking.

Clearcut: An opening in the forest created by cutting down most or al of the standing trees, usually the result of harvest of trees for sale.

Conifer: Cone-bearing seed plants, the great majority being trees with just a few shrubs. Typical examples of conifers include cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews.

Conspecific: Belonging to the same species.

Coverts: A set of feathers which, as the name implies, cover other feathers. The coverts help to smooth airflow over the wings and tail.

Crepuscular: Active primarily during twilight, that is during dawn and dusk.

Cryptic: The ability to avoid observation or detection through camouflage, nocturnality, subteranean lifesyle, transparency, or mimicry.

Dichotomous: Divided or dividing into two parts.

Deciduous: Trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally.

Digitigrade: Walking on digets or toes, with posterior portion of foot raised off the ground.

Diurnal: Of or belonging to the daytime (opposed to nocturnal).

Dorsall: On, or belonging to, the back of an animal.

Estuary: A partly enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.

Extant: A term commonly used in biology to refer to species that are still in existence, meaning still alive versus those that are now extinct.

Felid: A member of the Felidae family, the biological family of the cats.

Filoplumes: A rare type of feathers, hairlike which (if present in a bird) grows along the fluffy down feathers. In some passerines, filoplumes arise exposed beyond the contour feathers on the neck.

Forb: a herbaceous flowering plant that is not a graminoid (grasses, sedges and rushes).

Gorget: A patch of colored feathers found on the throat or upper breast of some species of birds.

Gregarious: marked by inclanation to associate with others of same kind.

Habitat: An ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant, or other type of organism.

Herbaceous: A plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground.

Invertebrate: Invertebrates are animal species that do not develop a vertebral column. Familiar examples of invertebrates include insects, worms, clams, crabs, octopus, snails, and starfish.

Lek: A gathering of males, of certain animal species, for the purposes of competitive mating display.

Lowland: Any broad expanse of land with a general low level. This term can also be described as a area of land that is below sea level.

Mandible: The jaw or jawbone including the upper and lower part of the bill, in birds.

Mesic Forest: A forest with a moderate or well-balanced supply of moisture.

Metatarsal Gland: Skin gland in metatarsal region of hind foot thet produces odoriferous compounds used in communication; ofton surrounded by turft of long hairs, as among cervids.

Montane Forest: Forests found on mountains or other high elevation regions on the Earth.k

Nocturnal: Active at night (opposed to diurnal).

Omnivore: meaning 'all-eater', is a species that is a consumer of a variety of material as significant food sources in their natural diet.

Ornithology: The branch of zoology that deals with the study of birds.

Passerine: A passerine is a bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or, less accurately, as songbirds.

Pelage: Collectively, the hair of an animal.

Pelagic: Relating to the ocean. In common usage in ornithology, the ocean out of sight of land or not visible by a shore-based observer.

Passerine: A bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds.

Plumage: Plumage refers both to the layer of feathers that cover a bird and the pattern, colour, and arrangement of those feathers. The pattern and colours of plumage vary between species and subspecies and can also vary between different age classes, sexes, and season. Within species there can also be a number of different colour morphs.

polygyny: (among male animals) the habit or system of having two or more mates, either simultaneously or successively.

Prebasic Moult: Almost all species of birds moult at least annually, usually after the breeding season, known as the prebasic moult.

Riparian: A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream.

Rectrices: Rectrices (from the Latin for "helmsman"), feathers which help a bird to brake and steer in flight, lie in a single horizontal row on the rear margin of the anatomic tail.

Ruminant: Any of various hoofed, even-toed, usually horned mammals of the suborder Ruminantia, such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes, characteristically having a stomach divided into four compartments and chewing a cud consisting of regurgitated, partially digested food.

Sera: A series of developmental communities leading to and including climax ecological community in a region.

Shrub-steppe: A habitat: of open grass-dominated communities usually found on loamy, wind-deposited (loess) soils.

Scrub: A habitat, consisting chiefly of shrubs or brush intermixed with sparse trees.

Shelterwood Cuting: A system in which overstory trees are removed in a series of cuts designed to achieve a new, even-aged stand under the shelter of remaining trees.

Supercilium: A plumage feature found on the heads of some bird species. It is a stripe which runs from the base of the bird's beak above its eye, finishing somewhere towards the rear of the bird's head.

Talus: Rock debris at the base of a cliff.

Terrestrial: An animal that lives on land opposed to living in water, or sometimes an animal that lives on or near the ground, as opposed to arboreal life (in trees).

Treeline: The edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing. Beyond the tree line, trees cannot tolerate inappropriate environmental conditions (usually cold temperatures or lack of moisture).

Upland: Any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau.

Venter: The belly and abdominal region, especially entire surface thereof.


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