Article ID: CBB666366582

Eliot Howard's “Law of Territory” in Birds: The Influence of Charles Moffat and Edmund Selous (2018)


Eliot Howard presented his theory of territory in the nine-part The British warblers published between 1907 and 1914. He is generally considered to have been unaware of significant earlier accounts of this theory, in particular by Altum and by Moffat in 1903 in The Irish naturalist. This periodical was perhaps little read outside Ireland, but Howard's wife came from Donegal, and his regular birdwatching there make early familiarity probable. In 1904, he began planning an ambitious work on warblers that would draw attention to supposed defects in the theory of sexual selection. Probably hastened by Selous highlighting sexual selection in The zoologist in 1906, part one of The British warblers in 1907 carried a forthright attack on Darwin's theory. Territory was first mentioned in part two in 1908, but without elaboration, after Selous in 1907 described the Ruff's territory on its assembly ground. In November 1910, in part five of The British warblers, after Selous that year had stressed territory on Eurasi...

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Authors & Contributors
Milam, Erika Lorraine
Elisa Dalla Longa
Canadelli, Elena
Fabrizio Rasera
Van Neste, Aaron
Andrea Cardarelli
Archives of Natural History
Comptes Rendus Biologies
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Environmental History
Boletín de la Institución Libre de Enseñanza
Editrice Bibliografica
Knesebeck Verlag
University of Arizona Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Island Press
Sexual selection
Biographical studies
Canestrini, Giovanni
Darwin, Charles Robert
Heinroth, Magdalena
Wade, Edward Walter
Heinroth, Katharina
Sarasin, Paul
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
20th century, late
United States
Central Europe
Società Veneto-Trentina di Scienze Naturali
National Audubon Society
Junta para Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (Spain)
American Museum of Natural History, New York

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