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Photographer's Note

Like other Spanish wetlands, the Tablas de Daimiel had a long tradition of waterfowl hunting. As early as 1325 the infante Don Juan Manuel, in his hunting book (Libro de la caza), publicised the attributes of the banks of the river Gigüela for falconry. The water resources of the area also provided fishing and power for mills. In 1575, Philip II ordered the compilation of the Topographic Relations which commanded that the Tablas be well looked after. The value of the ecosystem for hunting continued to give the Tablas a certain amount of protection into the twentieth century. Although in the 1950s the government promoted land reclamation projects in La Mancha with the aim of reducing the amount of wetland, Franco shot duck in the area and in 1966 the Tablas became a National Hunting Reserve.

In 1963 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) launched a project to conserve and manage wetlands, the MAR Project, which drew up a list of wetlands of international importance as a foundation for an international convention on wetlands. The draft called for the protection of wetlands habitats rather than species. The Tablas de Damiel were declared a National Park in 1973. In 1980 the national park was extended and UNESCO included Las Tablas in a biosphere reserve. In the 1982 Las Tablas were included on the list of the Ramsar Convention (an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands). In 1988 Las Tablas were declared a Special Protection Area (or SPA), a designation under the European Union directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.The location is in Ciudad Real,the area is 1,928 ha.

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Additional Photos by Manuel Mayorga (ManuMay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2467 W: 253 N: 4601] (36447)
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