Bighorn Sheep, see MOUNTAIN SHEEP.
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Bighorn Sheep, see MOUNTAIN SHEEP.
Biodiversity is the variety of life (genetic, species and ecosystem levels) on Earth or some part of it. It includes all living forms, plants, animals and micro-organisms. It is the natural wealth of a region that provides resources and ecological services.
For example, in British Columbia, the Coastal Western Hemlock Zone is one of 14 biogeoclimatic zones. It occupies high precipitation areas up to 1000 m elevation west of the coastal mountains from the Washington to Alaska borders and beyond.
Ecology is subdivided into 3 fields of study: autecology (relations of individual species or populations to their milieu), synecology (composition of living communities) and dynecology (processes of change in related communities).
Biological Oceanography is a branch of oceanography that studies living organisms (ie, the biota) in the sea in relation to their environments.
Biological studies of individuals and groups of organisms can occur at various levels (eg, molecular, cellular, anatomical, functional, behavioural, ecological and evolutionary).
A biosphere reserve represents one of the world’s important ecosystems and is divided into three zones: a protected core zone (such as a park or wildlife area), a buffer zone around the core, and a transition zone that fosters sustainable economic and cultural activity. The World Network of Biosphere Reserves includes 686 sites around the world, 18 of which are in Canada. The network is part of the larger Man and the Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Biosphere reserves are designated by UNESCO to help conserve biodiversity, demonstrate sustainable development and build the local community’s capacity to deal with human and environmental issues.
Birch (Betula), genus of trees and shrubs of birch family (Betulaceae). About 50 species are found in Arctic and northern temperate regions worldwide
A Bird is a member of a unique group of vertebrates, Class Aves. The fossil record, comparative anatomy and embryology indicate that Birds have a common ancestry with Reptiles and Dinosaurs.
Archaeopteryx, the oldest bird yet discovered, is known from several fossils recovered from fine slate deposits in Germany. This magpie-size animal lived in a tropical environment about 150 million years ago.
Animals' lives are circumscribed by 2 imperatives: finding food for survival, growth and reproduction and avoiding becoming prey before reproducing. For an animal to occupy a habitat, it must be able to survive and reproduce within it. Birds have evolved many ways of meeting these challenges.
Feathers are only found on birds. They probably evolved as a temperature-control device from scales, much like those of modern reptiles.
Wing evolution has been affected by the habitats to which birds have adapted (e.g. the open ocean, cliff tops or the closed environment of forests) and by the need to reduce drag, or air resistance.
Protection may be achieved by various means, including land-use zoning, long-term agreements with landowners and outright acquisition of land by wildlife agencies. Protected land areas may be designated as national wildlife areas, conservation areas, game reserves, etc.
Bird watching is the field observation of birds. The popularity of bird watching has burgeoned, especially since WWII, assisted by increased leisure time, a rich literature of books and periodicals, more organizations and better educational, communication and travel facilities.