The number of domestic animals greatly exceed the number of wild or related species. In some cases, their wild ancestors have been completely exterminated. The breeding of domestic animals has provided people with many indisputable advantages, but it has its downside. The grazing of large livestock herds diminishes food and water resources of local wild
animals in Africa and leads to the total devastation of the landscape. Bison almost became extinct because pasture lands were required for domestic cattle in North America. Large areas of rainforest in South America are being converted to pasture for cattle today, presenting conservation difficulties. Herds of sheep and goats completely devastated large areas of Mediterranean and central Asia. The infestation by domestic rabbits nearly devastated the breeding of sheep, another domesticated animal, in more than half of the Australian continent. Enormous ecological damage was committed by wild populations of goats and pigs that were abandoned by sailors in many Mediterranean islands. Together with feral dogs and cats they liquidated enormous amounts of local fauna and flora. They are responsible for more than a quarter of extinct species and subspecies of vertebrates. Feral goats present a similar problem on a number of the Galápagos Islands, threatening the wildlife there.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.