In rural areas, excessive numbers of feral cats are often shot. Persistence depends on their ability to establish themselves and reproduce reliably in the new environment. Many European wild boar populations are also partially descended from escaped domestic pigs and are thus technically feral animals within the native range of the ancestral species. However, they may also replace species lost from an ecosystem on initial human arrival to an area, or increase the biodiversity of a human-altered area by being able to survive in it in ways local species cannot. Domesticated plants that revert to wild are referred to as escaped, introduced, naturalized , or sometimes as feral crops. Most free roaming cattle, however untamed, are generally too valuable not to be eventually rounded up and recovered in closely settled regions.
Cultural or historic value[ edit ] American mustangs have been protected since in part due to their romance and connection to the history of the American West. Such observations can provide useful information for the stock breeders or other owners of the domesticated conspecifics i. Persistence depends on their ability to establish themselves and reproduce reliably in the new environment. Scientific value[ edit ] Populations of feral animals present good sources for studies of population dynamics, and especially of ecology and behavior ethology in a wide state of species known mainly in a domestic state. A local population of feral cats living in an urban area and using a common food source is sometimes called a feral cat colony. Feral plants and animals constitute a significant share of invasive species , and can be a threat to endangered species. Neither the duration nor the intensity with which a species has been domesticated offers a useful correlation with its feral potential. However, they may also replace species lost from an ecosystem on initial human arrival to an area, or increase the biodiversity of a human-altered area by being able to survive in it in ways local species cannot. Also known as a ringneck dove or ring dove Streptopelia risoria Rock pigeons were formerly kept for their meat or more commonly as racing animals and have established feral populations in cities worldwide. Horses and donkeys , domesticated about BC, are feral in open grasslands worldwide. Some species will detach readily from humans and pursue their own devices, but do not stray far or spread readily. They are often referred to as " wild horses ," but this is a misnomer. A substantial population of feral dromedaries, descended from pack animals that escaped in the 19th and early 20th centuries, thrives in the Australian interior today. Large colonies of feral parrots are present in various parts of the world, with rose-ringed parakeets , monk parakeets and red-masked parakeets the latter of which became the subject of the documentary film, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill being particularly successful outside of their native habitats and adapting well to suburban environments. The dromedary camel, which has been domesticated for well over 3, years, will also readily go feral. Such cattle are variously called mavericks , scrubbers or cleanskins. At certain times, animals were sometimes deliberately left to go feral, typically on islands,[ citation needed ] in order to be later recovered for profit or food use for travelers particularly sailors at the end of a few years. Cattle, particularly those raised for beef , are often allowed to roam quite freely and have established long term independence in Australia , New Zealand and several Pacific Islands along with small populations of semi-feral animals roaming the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Water buffalo run rampant in Western and Northern Australia. Modern cattle, especially those raised on open range, are generally more docile, but when threatened can display aggression. Economic benefits[ edit ] Many feral animals can sometimes be captured at little cost and thus constitute a significant resource. Wild cocks typically form social groups composed of, a dominant cockerel, several hens, and subordinate cocks. Throughout most of Polynesia and Melanesia feral pigs constitute the primary sources of animal protein. Loss to farmers by aggressive feral dog population is common in India. More recently, the " trap-neuter-return " method has been used in many locations as an alternative means of managing the feral cat population. In Australia feral goats, pigs and dromedaries are harvested for the export for their meat trade.
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