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Humans first started cultivating land and practising farming about 10,000 years ago. This of course leads to disturbances of various kinds, which can be kept to a minimum but unfortunately this has not been the case in most instances.
Forests are destroyed and coral reefs are used as building material, and then important habitats of the animals who live in the area disappear. It is essential to keep some uncultivated or wilderness areas; size of area is important because it is better to have one large area than many small ones that together amount to the same surface area as the large area as many species, especially predators that are at the top of the food chain, need a large area to have enough food and roaming space. Smaller areas are also more sensitive to further disturbances, e.g. from domestic animals that make life more difficult for wild animals in terms of getting food and breeding.
Photo of Highways. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USFWS