Dr. Dave Ankney, a highly respect scientist, educator, hunting advocate, mentor and dear friend passed away on Thursday, February 28th following a battle with cancer. The Celebration of Dave’s life was hosted at Long Point Waterfowl’s Research and Education Centre over the May long weekend, pictures are seen below.
The Waterfowl Community would like to announce the development of two scholarships in honour of Dave and his wife Sandi, which will be awarded to one M.Sc. and one Ph.D. student each year. Dave has also been awarded the Kirchoffer Back Porch Award in recognition and appreciation for his great and many contibutions, which are briefly summarized in the attached award
write-up. The Back Porch was a very special place to Dave and many others that had opportunity to visit the Kirchoffer Lodge on Delta Marsh and participate in waterfowl and wetland discussions there. On the right you will find one of Dave’s favorite personal photos of his two black labs looking out over the marsh on the back porch. As part of the Award, Dave and his wife Sandi will be presented the original art work of the Kirchoffer Back Porch (on left).
Before he retired, Dave was a Professor of Zoology at the University of Western Ontario where he taught Ecological Adaptations of Birds and Wildlife Ecology and Management. He and his graduate and honours students have published approximately 150 peer-reviewed papers on birds, primarily waterfowl.
Dave is a Fellow of the American Ornithologist’s Union, Past-President of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunter’s, former member of the Long Point Biosphere Board, and currently chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee of Long Point Waterfowl. He was instrumental in the successful reintroduction of Wild Turkeys to Ontario and a
driving force behind attempts to deal with the problem of over-abundant white goose populations in North America, the latter resulting in him receiving the Ducks Unlimited “Wetland Conservation Achievement Award” in 1997.
Dave, his wife Sandi, and their Labrador Retrievers live on Long Point, but spend the winter in Rockport, Texas, where they enjoy duck hunting, birding, and fishing.
Dave Ankney continues to have a long-standing interest in the questions behind the decline of Black Ducks in North America. During the 1980s and 1990s, there were a number of people besides Dave, in both Canada and the US, trying to find out whether the main driver behind the Black Duck Decline was harvest, hybridization with Mallards, factors other than these two main hypotheses, or some combination of all of these. In 1997, with contributions from his wife, Sandi Johnson, Dave Ankney anonymously penned a fictitious interview about Wisconsin Black Duck Militia, a light-hearted synthesis about the Black Duck issue, using pseudonyms for the main players involved in the “Black Duck Intrigue” . He attributed the synthesis to a certain Barry Shortmantle, Executive Vice President of Favoring Anas Rubripes Today, aka FART. Referring to The Wisconsin Black Duck Militia, Dave Ankney is known to have stated with reverent modesty “This was my one and only attempt to be Johnny Lynch”, who Dave regarded with the highest esteem as a visionary, capable of seeing The Big Picture. Dave wrote The Wisconsin Black Duck Militia before he began to use the quotation “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary and for those who do not, none is possible.” to end all of his correspondence.
Please click here to read the Dave Ankney Retirement Symposium proceedings, here to read an essay by Dave about the Kirchhoffer’s Porch and here to read correspondence between Dave (as a PhD student) and John Lynch in 1972.
If you are interested, click here to view a video of Dave’s new dependent, “Bug” – quite funny!
Check out an interview with Dave on Delta Waterfowl’s website.