Introduction

Domestication, the intimate relationship between humans and other species, has proven to be the most successful evolutionary strategy for survival in a world dominated by the human species. Wild species that compete with humans, e.g., for land use, are increasingly threatened. Those that move closer to humans in a commensal relationship are more secure in numbers, despite their frequent treatment as pests, yet are unlikely to become domestic because the mutual benefits of domestication are lacking from the human perspective. For true domestication, there must be advantages for both humans and the second species in the partnership, and specific behavioral characteristics that facilitate the relationship. Domestication is not simply a feature of history; it is a dynamic relationship that determines the long-term survival of species living close to the constant environmental manipulations of humans. Understanding the characteristics that facilitated domestication is the key to developing successful modern management systems.

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