Wildlife - Ecology
The term wildlife probably originated in 1913 in a book, Our Vanishing Wildlife by William Hornaday, Director of the New York Zoological Park. The main focus of this book was on the over-exploitation of game birds, mammals and fishes; and also the harvesting of some birds that were not game, notably the song birds that the European immigrants often hunted. By 1937, the term wildlife had been contracted into one word. Though the word wildlife was coined and contracted as one word by the nineteen thirty seven, it was not defined in the well known dictionaries. It was, however, included in the Webster's dictionary in 1986. Webster's dictionary defines wildlife as "living things that are neither human nor domesticated", and the Oxford dictionary says that the wildlife is "the native flora and fauna of a particular region". If we are asked to prepare a list of wildlife species, the list would be dominated by examples of animals, birds and occasionally fishes. Generally, we all think that only large animals, carnivores, game animals and birds constitute the wildlife.
In the present times, the term wildlife encompasses much more than the above mentioned life forms. Now plants, microorganisms and all other lesser known living beings too fall within the purview of wildlife. One essential characteristic feature of wildlife is that they grow and survive in a particular area, without the care of human beings. They are well adapted to the soil, light and temperature conditions of that particular area. All our garden flowers are descendants of the wild flowers. The wild flowers grow on their own in nature, complete their life cycles and grow again the next season.