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Nature volume 114, pages 5862 (12 July 1924) | Download Citation



A CONFERENCE arranged at the British Empire Exhibition by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds took place on June 26. The subjects for discussion were legislation for bird protection in different parts of the British Empire, the oil menace, and the formation of Nature reserves and bird sanctuaries. Overseas representatives described the conditions in their respective countries. In some of these the question of the preservation of bird life is a very urgent problem: on the one hand the changes within recent years-owing to the rapid increase of human population and all that it implies-are very obvious, while on the other hand the need for counteracting insect pests is particularly great. In some parts of the Empire, legislation on the subject is ahead of that in Great Britain, but although high penalties are imposed, enforcement of the law is often difficult. One is glad to see this subject discussed in its wider aspects, even although foreign countries were on this particular occasion not included. Owing to the seasonal movements of birds from one country to another, international co-operation in protective measures is highly desirable, and we were told at this conference how much the Migratory Birds Treaty with the United States has done for the Canadian summer avifauna. The oil menace also requires international handling, because the waste oil which nowadays causes so much cruel and unnecessary destruction of birds, as well as of fishes and other marine animals and of seaside amenities, is as a rule originally discharged at sea outside territorial limits.

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