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03 - Struggle for Existence 03-05 - Nature of the Checks to Increase 10 In looking at Nature, it is most necessary to keep the foregoing considerations always in mind- never to forget that every single organic being may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers; that each lives by a struggle at some period of its life; that heavy destruction inevitably falls either on the young or old, during each generation or at recurrent intervals. Lighten any cheek, mitigate the destruction ever so little, and the number of the species will
almost instantaneously increase to any amount.
03 - Struggle for Existence 03-05 - Nature of the Checks to Increase 20 The causes which check the natural tendency of each species to increase are most obscure.

Look at the most vigorous species; by as much as it swarms in numbers, by so much will it tend to increase still further.

We know not exactly what the checks are even in a single
instance.

Nor will this surprise any one who reflects how ignorant we are on this head, even in regard to mankind, although so incomparably better known than any other animal.

This subject of the checks to increase has been ably treated by several authors, and I hope in a future work to discuss it at considerable length, more especially in regard to the feral animals of South America.

Mustang (Feral Horse)
Mustang (Feral Horse)

Feral Cat (re-homed)
Feral Cat (re-homed)


Here I will make only a few remarks, just to recall to the reader's mind some of the chief points.