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Biodiversity in the Late Middle Ages: Wild Birds in the Fourteenth-Century County of Holland.

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Title
Biodiversity in the Late Middle Ages: Wild Birds in the Fourteenth-Century County of Holland.
Content
This article provides a preliminary overview of the species of wild birds that lived in the fourteenth-century County of Holland, now the Netherlands, on the basis of archaeological and historical sources. It argues that scholars should devote more attention to the Late Middle Ages (1300-1500) as a historical baseline for the study of biodiversity, and demonstrates the value of using medieval financial administration (accounts) as a source for such research. The article identifies 46 species of birds, most of which had substantial socio-economic value (birds of prey, wildfowl, herons, and spoonbills). Because some bird populations were actively managed to secure a steady supply, it is possible to gain insight into historical population dynamics. This study can also serve as an example to conduct similar research on other species and geographical regions.
Excerpt


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1 September 2022 at 12:12 pm EDT Sander Govaerts