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The Plain Truth About Prairie Ducks

Some things haven't changed.
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By Matt Young

Throughout history, there have been visionaries in every field whose ideas were decades ahead of their time. In physics, there was Sir Isaac Newton; in astronomy, there was Galileo; and in the young science of waterfowl management, there was John J. “Johnny” Lynch. A field biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Lynch helped design and conduct many of the first scientific surveys of waterfowl populations during the 1940s and 1950s. The countless hours he spent observing the birds and their habitats from the air and on the ground gave him exceptional insight about waterfowl, especially prairie ducks.

Throughout history, there have been visionaries in every field whose ideas were decades ahead of their time. In physics, there was Sir Isaac Newton; in astronomy, there was Galileo; and in the young science of waterfowl management, there was John J. “Johnny” Lynch. A field biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Lynch helped design and conduct many of the first scientific surveys of waterfowl populations during the 1940s and 1950s. The countless hours he spent observing the birds and their habitats from the air and on the ground gave him exceptional insight about waterfowl, especially prairie ducks.

Ducks Unlimited's (former) Chief Biologist Dr. Bruce Batt explains, “Johnny Lynch developed an incredible understanding of the factors that drive mid-continent duck populations. Even with all of our modern technology and decades of additional data, we have really only fine-tuned and refined the fundamental concepts described by Lynch more than 50 years ago.”

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