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During the century leading up to this book's publication in 1941, there had been a complete revolution in conditions governing the habits and numbers of wildfowl in many parts of the world. Industrial innovations such as the breech-loading gun, the steam-engine, and the internal combustion engine not only increased destruction, but, by disturbance of previously quiet resting places, led to vast changes in distribution. In most locations, these changes were masked by seasonal fluctuations, and too slow for the average wildfowler to notice. But it began to be realised, especially in North America, that the number of wildfowl was seriously diminishing. To obtain accurate information, the International Committee for Bird Preservation adopted a far-reaching scheme of investigation and inquiry. This first volume contains eight papers by specialists.