Wildlife traditionally refers to non-domesticated animal species, but has come to broadly include all plants and other microbes that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems. Deserts, forests, rain forests, plains, grasslands, and other areas including the most developed urban sites, all have distinct forms of wildlife. While the term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors, most scientists agree that wildlife around is affected by human activities. Humans have historically tended to separate civilization from wildlife in a number of ways including the legal, social, and moral sense. Some animals, however, have adapted to suburban enviroments. This includes such animals as domesticated cats, dogs, mice, and gerbils. Religions have often declared certain animals to be sacred, and in modern times concern for the natural environment has provoked activists to protest the exploitation of wildlife for human benefit or entertainment. Food, pets, and traditional medicines
Anthropologists believe that the Stone Age people and hunter-gatherers relied on wildlife, both plants and animals, for their food. In fact, some species may have been hunted to extinction by early human hunters. Today, hunting, fishing, and gathering wildlife is still a significant food source in some parts of the world. In other areas, hunting and non-commercial fishing are mainly seen as a sport or recreation, with the edible meat as mostly a side benefit. Meat sourced from wildlife that is not traditionally regarded as game is known as bush meat. The increasing demand for wildlife as a source of traditional food in East Asia is decimating populations of sharks, primates, pangolins and...
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