According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the usage of wild, meaning “of an animal; living in a state of nature; not tame, not domesticated,” can be traced back to 725 c.e. By 1440 c.e., the word wildness, meaning “the state or character of being wild” or “undomesticated,” referred to a particular way of being—a category of behaviors and attributes, but not Kingdom or Phylum-specific ones. The word wildlife (or wild life), meaning “native flora and fauna of a particular region,” dates back only to 1879 c.e., and popular usage of its attributive form (e.g., wildlife conservation) and combinative form (e.g., wildlife park, wildlife sanctuary), began in the mid-1930s and 1960s, respectively (OED). Wildlife, then, originated as a category inclusive of animals and plants. As ...

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