Flora and fauna refer to plant and wildlife, respectively. The term is often used to refer to the indigenous plant and wildlife of a geographical region. Both are collective terms, referring to groups of plant or wildlife specific to a region or a time period. For example, the flora and fauna of a warm region may consist of tropical to warm-temperate vegetation and exotic species of birds.
By definition, flora is a word of Latin origin referring to Flora, the goddess of flowers. The term can refer to a group of plants or to bacteria. Flora is the root of the word floral, which means pertaining to flowers. Fauna can refer to the animal life or classification of animals of a certain region, time period, or environment. The term is also of Latin origin, and in Roman mythology, Fauna was the sister of Faunus, a good spirit of the forest and plains.
The flora and fauna of any given region are usually explained in biological terms to include the genus and species of plant and animal life, their preferred growing or breeding habits, and their connection to one another in the environment as well. In addition to geographical groupings, environment also helps further their classification. For example, aquatic flora and fauna of a region refers to the plant and animal life found in the waters in or surrounding a geographic region.
Biologists and environmentalists study the plants and animals of a region for a number of reasons. Preservation and conservation are main reasons why they are important to researchers, as their ability to teach scientists new things about biology. Several organizations, including Fauna and Flora International (FFI), work together to use their research and findings to further policy on conservation and preservation as well as biodiversity.