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Over-harvesting is an extreme use of some important areas like wetlands that damages them to the detriment of other animals, including humans. Most wetlands that are destroyed by overuse could potentially be a source of drinking water, as well as housing a thriving and diverse ecosystem that is not always immediately plain to the human eye.

Over-harvesting can also apply to other animals. Population numbers may drop as a result and in many cases cause the extinction of a species. Overfishing is a typical example.