Mammals play a vital role for the ecosystem in which they live. Mammals are important for maintaining services and functions associated with sustaining a balanced ecosystem. Various mammals are used as a food and clothing resource. They are also important for different recreational purposes.
Hunting mammals, such as lagomorphs or ungulates, has grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Lagomorphs are commonly known as rabbits or hares whereas ungulates are historically known as hoofed animals. In the United States, licensed hunters harvest more than two million deer yearly for food and resource purposes.
In a geopolitical aspect, the search for marine mammals were instrumental in charting multiple areas in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. Mammals raised on a ranch, such as the fox, mink or chinchilla, are crucial to the fur industry. This industry directly and indirectly generates millions of dollars in revenue annually in North America.
Many mammals have become sought after for their special parts and attributes. For example, the horn of a rhinoceros is used to concoct potions, while an elephant's ivory is a highly coveted prize. In some cases, a substance produced by sperm whales, known as ambergris, was once used for a base to create perfume.