Vocabulary O-P

A-B / C-D / E-F / G-H / I-J / K-L / M-N / O-P / Q-R / S-T / U-V / W-X / Y-Z


Open System Thermodynamics
An open system is a system that freely exchanges energy and matter with its surroundings.

The fur, hair, or wool of a mammal.

The skin and fur of a dead animal, or the skin with the fur removed.

Perennial Snowfields

Perennial snowfields, like glaciers, are masses of snow and ice that persist for many years and form through the accumulation and compaction of snow. However, unlike glaciers, snowfields never grow thick enough to flow with gravity. In both modern times, as in the past, caribou herds move to these snowfields in the summer to stay cool and avoid insects (Anderson and Nilssen 1998). Perennial snowfields are also important ecosystems for an array of different bird species (Rosvold 2015). They influence water availability for down-slope vegetation (Lewkowicz and Young 1990) and alter geology (Berrisford 1991) and permafrost (Luetschg et al. 2004).[Cite]


Phylogeography (of wolves) is the study of the historical processes that may be responsible for the current day geographic distributions of wolves. This is accomplished by considering the geographic distribution of wolves in light of genetics, particularly population genetics.

Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography and population history of the grey wolf Canis lupus. Vilà C, Amorim IR, Leonard JA, Posada D, Castroviejo J, Petrucci‐Fonseca F, Crandall KA, Ellegren H, Wayne RK. Molecular ecology. 1999 Dec

Biology. the primary subdivision of a taxonomic kingdom, grouping together all classes of organisms that have the same body plan.

Pinch Period
The period in the annual cycle when the conditions for living and finding food are least favorable. For wolves, the pinch period is often in late summer when prey are in prime condition and difficult to catch, but when growing pups still need to be fed.
International Wolf Center Glossary

Pleistocene (ICE AGE)
adj. [GEOLOGY] of, relating to, or denoting the first epoch of the Quaternary period, between the Pliocene and Holocene epochs. [as n.] (the Pleistocene) the Pleistocene epoch or the system of deposits laid down during it. The Pleistocene epoch lasted from 1,640,000 to about 10,000 years ago. It was marked by great fluctuations in temperature that caused the ice ages, with glacial periods followed by warmer interglacial periods. Several extinct forms of human, forerunners of modern humans, appeared during this epoch. mid 19th cent.: from Greek pleistos ‘most’ + kainos ‘new’.

(2010-04-01). The New Oxford American Dictionary (Kindle Locations 634542-634557). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

adj. [GEOLOGY] of, relating to, or denoting the last epoch of the Tertiary period, between the Miocene and Pleistocene epochs. [as n.] (the Pliocene) the Pliocene epoch or the system of rocks deposited during it. The Pliocene epoch lasted from 5.2 million to 1.64 million years ago. Temperatures were falling at this time and many mammals became extinct. The first hominids, including Australopithecus and Homo habilis, appeared. mid 19th cent.: from Greek ‘more’ + kainos ‘new’.

(2010-04-01). The New Oxford American Dictionary (Kindle Locations 635150-635164). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

The act of illegal take of an animal, either one that is taken out of season, by illegal means or methods, or by the fact they are listed as endangered, threatened, or special concern.

Polymorphism (biology)
The occurrence of different forms among the members of a population or colony, or in the life cycle of an individual organism.

Polymorphism (genetics)
The presence of genetic variation within a population, upon which natural selection can operate.

“Praxic” Behavior
Visually controlled activities involving the manipulation of the environment:
Motor planning or praxis is the ability of the brain to conceive, organize, and carry out a sequence of unfamiliar actions.

Hatched or born in an advanced state and able to feed itself almost immediately.

Predation Risk
Probability of predation per unit time

Predator Control
A wildlife management policy aimed at reducing populations of predatory species either to protect livestock or boost populations of game animals. Coyotes, bobcats, grey and red wolves , bears, and mountain lions have been the most frequent targets. Historically, efforts were centered in government-run programs to hunt, trap, or poison predators, while bounties offered for particular predatory species encouraged private citizens to do the same.

Predator control should not be a shot in the dark; Adrian Treves, Miha Krofel, Jeannine McManus; Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: 01 September 2016

Pre-release facility
A unique facility that is designated by the Service, to be used to maintain any wolf that is going to be released into the wild. Wolves managed at these facilities are not open to the public and manage the species to ensure the highest likelihood of success once in the wild. Wolves that are potential candidates for release into the wild are evaluated based on their genetic makeup, reproductive performance and various behavioral criteria.

Prey Heterogeneity;
Distribution and density of prey. Wolf prey has highly patchy distribution and has low density.

Prey Renewal;
Prey turnover. Wolf prey has slow turnover (ungulate).

Prey Richness;
Amount of food per individual prey. Wolf prey is rich.

Prima Facie
Latin term- The literal translation would be “at first face” or “at first appearance”, from the feminine forms of primus (“first”) and facies (“face”), both in the ablative case. Based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved otherwise. In environmental ethics – a prima facie moral duty to protect that which holds intrinsic value.

Primary Recovery Zone
Recovery zone that allows for naïve wolves to be released. These animals have had no previous experience in the wild.