Sea Birds Preservation Act 1869
|Long title||An Act for the Preservation of Sea Birds|
|Citation||32 & 33 Vict. c. 17|
|Introduced by||Christopher Sykes (MP)|
|Royal assent||24 June 1869|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
In 1868, Professor Alfred Newton addressed the British Association for the Advancement of Science on the "On the Zoological Aspect of the Game Laws". In particular, he urged for protection of birds of prey and seabirds during the breeding season. The British Association appointed a committee to propose a close season. The committee consisted of Frank Buckland, Henry Eeles Dresser, William Bernhardt Tegetmeier and Henry Baker Tristram. James Edmund Harting was later co-opted onto the committee.
Newton's speech cited the destruction of seabirds on the Isle of Wight and Flamborough Head. Wide publicity of his speech led to public condemnation of the residents of Bridlington. Rev. Henry Frederick Barnes-Lawrence of Bridlington Priory held a meeting of local clergy and naturalists and formed the Association for the Protection of Sea-Birds. Barnes-Lawrence's Association had the support of Francis Orpen Morris, William Thomson, Archbishop of York, and local MP Christopher Sykes.
As with many animal welfare laws before 1900, the animals' safety was not the main reason for the act. Seabirds were useful to sailors to warn of land in bad weather. If a boat was in fog and the sailors could hear seabirds nearby then they would know that they were near land. If the population of seabirds declined then they would not have this early warning system.
The act was introduced by Christopher Sykes (MP), Mr Clay and Mr Ward Jackson on behalf of the Association for the Protection of Sea-Birds. It was designed to reduce the effects of shooting and egg collecting during the breeding season. It gave limited protection to "the different species of auk, bonxie, Cornish chough, coulterneb, diver, eider duck, fulmar, gannet, grebe, guillemot, gull, kittiwake, loon, marrot, merganser, murre, oyster catcher, petrel, puffin, razor bill, scout, seamew, sea parrot, sea swallow, shearwater, shelldrake, skua, smew, solan goose, tarrock, tern, tystey, willock".
- British Association for the Advancement of Science
- British Ornithologists' Union
- Conservation biology
- Henry Eeles Dresser
- Game Act 1831
- James Edmund Harting
- Francis Orpen Morris
- Alfred Newton
- Christopher Sykes (MP)
- William Bernhardt Tegetmeier
- William Thomson, Archbishop of York
- Henry Baker Tristram
- Barclay-Smith (1959)
- Sea Birds Preservation Act 1869, Section 1
- Greenoak (1979)
- Barclay-Smith, Phyllis (1959): The British contribution to bird protection Ibis 101(1):pp 115–122
- Greenoak, Francesca (1979): All the Birds of the Air Andre Deutsch, London