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What Are Unique Species?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
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To some, a unique species is simply an animal, insect or plant that can be defined separately from other species. Looking at a genus or other group of plants or animals can lead scientists to pursue labeling of various species in order to know more about a specific type of organism. When biologists talk about a uniquely labeled species, they may be talking about a species that has been separately identified, or one that is of special interest. Comprehensive biology books generally try to include the biggest percentage of all known unique species in a particular biology category.

Some biology dictionaries define a unique species a little differently. Biologists may look at a species that they refer to as a unique one based on unusual relationships with other species, or unusual or unique characteristics. Part of what biologists do relates to biodiversity or species abundance, where a unique species might have a defining role in the functioning of its environment.

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Biologists might also talk about a unique species based on whether it is unique to a specific area. A species that has only one major habitat can be more vulnerable to extinction than some other species of animal or plant. A species may be placed on an endangered species list, or, if its single habitat is really being threatened, a critically endangered species list. Local and national governments try their best to protect endangered species in the best interests of keeping the biodiversity that is natural to an environment.

People who are interested in animal biology might find examples of a unique species at a local zoo, aquarium or museum. The idea of identifying a unique type of species is central to the work of animal and plant scientists who want to provide a more accurate picture of habitats and ecology in general. Scientists might also work on unique species in order to promote laws protecting their populations or environments. Species conservation laws may sometimes be unpopular with developers and others who are focused on human-centric projects. Documenting the numbers and situations of a unique species is part of the front-line work on protecting these plants and animals from extinction in a changing world.

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