On this day in history : 11th December 1903 – The Society for the Preservation of Wild Fauna of the Empire is formed – and is the first wildlife preservation society in Britain….
The SPWFE was formed by a group of British and American statesmen in Africa, out of concern over the excess hunting of Africa’s large game animals, especially by trophy hunters…. Concerns were also raised about encroachment on natural habitats, it was recognised that intervention was needed to safeguard the future of these species….
The society worked with landowners, sports hunters and the government…. Doing so aided the passing of legislation controlling hunting in vast areas of East and South Africa…. This in turn made it possible for later National Parks to be formed, such as the Serengeti and the Kruger National Parks….
In 1981 the society became known as the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society…. It is now a registered charity with its head office in Cambridge…. It has royal patronage, dating back to 1928, when Edward Price of Wales (later to become King Edward VIII) became its first Patron…. Queen Elizabeth II is its current Patron….