We here show unpublished documentation regarding a complaint presented to the Spanish Government by the Iberian Federation of Societies for the Protection of Animals and Plants in 1933. This complaint concerned apparent non–compliance with the International Convention for the Protection of Birds (1902). The reason was hunting with non–selective trapping methods (nets and birdlime) that were prohibited by the convention but authorized in certain cases by the Spanish Government in 1929. Such hunting could have contributed to the elimination of large numbers of passerines, some protected by law. According to the documentation studied, the complaint from this Iberian Federation was triggered by a letter sent by Léon Pittet, president of the Comité National Suisse pour la Protection des Oiseaux. This event emphasizes the relationships between European organizations whose purpose was the conservation of birds, and certain Spanish associations whose objectives included the defense of passerines in the years before the Spanish Ornithological Society was created. In addition, it indicates that the 1902 Convention had some positive practical consequences, although these later decreased due to pressure from important hunting sectors in Spain. The case presented here shows that the current conflict in Spain between the use of certain hunting methods and legislation for the conservation of birds dates back at least to the first half of the twentieth century.
History of conservation, International agreements, Hunting passerines, Parany, Protected species
Reception date: 4 V 16 | Acceptation date: 17 VI 16 | Publication date: 29 VII 16
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