Education Portal is now Study.com! Same great content, just under a new name. Learn more
Copyright

Native Species: Definition, Examples & Quiz

Instructor: Sarah Friedl

Sarah has a Master's degree in Zoology and a Bachelor's in Biology, and has taught college level Physical Science and Biology.

What makes a species native? Are non-native species the same as invasive species? Native species are specially adapted to fit their environment and live in the same place where they originated.

We also recommend watching How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance and Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

Definition

You may not be living in the same place you were born, or even the same place you grew up. But you likely still call that place 'home.' Like you, other plant and animal species may live far from where they originated. Those that do live in the same place they are originally from are called native species.

Native species are considered to be native only if they originated in their location naturally, and without the involvement of human activity or intervention. This usually means that those species evolved and are adapted to living in that particular environment, but this is not always the case.

Introduced species (non-native) are those that have been introduced by humans, either accidentally or intentionally. Once a species has become too pervasive in an environment, it is said to be invasive. Both native and introduced species can be invasive.

Examples

There are two types of native species, indigenous and endemic. Indigenous species are native species that are found in multiple locations, whereas endemic species are only found in a specific, unique location. We often find endemic species in geographically isolated areas such as islands. Madagascar and the Galapagos Islands are both home to a host of endemic species that aren't found anywhere else on Earth.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member

Already a member? Log In

Start Your Free Trial To Take This Quiz

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 10,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Free 5-day trial
It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 100 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.