Chapter 5: Introduction - A Brief History of Muggle Awareness of Fantastic Beasts
Okay, so here's what clear—Muggles haven't always been clueless when it comes to magical creatures. In fact, if you look back over Muggle art, you'll see all kinds of references to griffins, unicorns, phoenix, and centaurs.
But lots of lesser-known beasts also escaped Muggle notice entirely.
Mr. Scamander tells a quick story about a Franciscan monk who ran into a Jarvey in his garden. The little critter bit him hard on the nose, but the monk swore the creature was actually a talking ferret.
Hey, sometimes Muggles have a tough time believing in the impossible.
Of course, at the time, Muggles were also pretty big into persecuting witches and wizards, so it was probably better to keep them in the dark.
Around 1692, the International Confederation of Wizards started trying to come up with a plan to decide which magical creatures should be hidden from Muggle view entirely. The point was the make those Muggles believe that magic didn't exist at all through secrecy.
Guess what? It worked really, really well.
Today, each wizard governing body is responsible for keeping its own magical creatures under control so that they don't hurt any Muggles or draw attention to themselves. The fate of the magical world is kind of depending on it.