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In biogeography, a species is defined as indigenous to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural process, with no human intervention. The term is equivalent to "native" in less scientific usage. Every natural organism (as opposed to a domesticated organism) has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as indigenous. Outside this native range, a species may be introduced by human activity; it is then referred to as an introduced species within the regions where it was anthropogenically introduced.
An indigenous species is not necessarily endemic. In biology and ecology, endemic means exclusively native to the biota of a specific place. An indigenous species may occur in areas other than the one under consideration.
The terms "endemic" and "indigenous" do not imply that an organism necessarily originated or evolved where it is found.
- CEQ (1999). Executive Order 13112.
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- Indigenous, Aliens and Invasives Envirofacts
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