Territory is an important concept in both animal and human societies. It is defined as an area of land, water, or air claimed and defended by an animal or group of animals, or by a nation (Burt, 2020). Territorial behavior, or the act of defending a territory from intruders, is an important aspect of animal behavior and is seen among many species, including primates, birds, and some insects (Mann, 2001).

In human societies, territory is often associated with political boundaries, such as countries, states, and cities. Political boundaries are often established to create a sense of identity and protect the interests of the people within them (O’Connor, 2016). In addition to political boundaries, territory can also refer to a physical area held by an individual or group, such as a house, a business, or a farm (Miller, 2010).

In both animals and humans, territory serves many important purposes. For animals, it provides a safe place to raise young, access food and water resources, and protect themselves from predators (Schmidt, 2012). In humans, it provides a sense of identity, safety, and community, and it can also help to ensure economic and resource security (Lang & Moll, 2014).

In conclusion, territory is an important concept in both animal and human societies. It is an area of land or air that is claimed and defended by an individual or group, and it serves many purposes, such as providing safety and a sense of identity.


Burt, M. (2020). Territory. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/territory

Lang, A. & Moll, B. (2014). Territories: A new perspective on political geography. Political Geography, 38, 42-50. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2013.08.001

Mann, J. (2001). Primate behavior and the emergence of human culture. Annual Review of Anthropology, 30, 57-82. doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.30.1.57

Miller, J. (2010). Territoriality: A liberal theory of international relations. Westview Press.

O’Connor, S. (2016). Territorial identities: Understanding political boundaries. International Political Science Review, 37(2), 238-250. doi:10.1177/0192512116629093

Schmidt, K. (2012). The ecology of animal territoriality. Ecology, 93(5), 964-973. doi:10.1890/11-1544.1

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