The search for gold and the quest for unoccupied pasturage daily diminish the extent of these areas.
This has been due to speculation, to the unrestricted pasturage of goats, to the rights which many communes have over the forests, and to some extent to excessive taxation, which led the proprietors to cut and sell the trees and then abandon the ground to the Treasury.
The open campos afford good pasturage, and live stock is largely exported.
A peculiar feature is presented by the level upland basins which furnish abundant pasturage during the summer months; the more remarkable are the Omalo in the White Mountains (about 4000 ft.) drained by subterranean outlets (KaTa(30Opa), Nida (Eis T7)v "IBav) in Psiloriti (between 5000 and 6000 ft.), and the Lassithi plain (about 3000 ft.), a more extensive area, on which are several villages.
Farmers of the Piedmont Plateau formerly kept large numbers of horses and cattle from April to November in ranges in the Mountain Region, but with the opening of portions of that country to cultivation the business of pasturage declined, except as the cotton plantations demanded an increased supply of mules; there were 25,259 mules in 1850, 110,011 in 1890, 138,786 in 1900, and 181,000 in 1910.