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2019 Loon Census

The 2019 Loon Census will take place on July 20th from 8-9am. An annual loon census is important for several reasons. It serves as a mid-season check on the species, previously unknown birds can be discovered, and it tracks loon movements. Also, according to the Loon Preservation Committee, (LPC), it “defines pairs.”

In 2018, 513 observers charted loons on 126 lakes. This is just over 1/3 of the lakes monitored by the LPC. 469 Adult Loons, 86 chicks, and 2 immature loons, (1-2 years old), were counted.

The census revealed an increase in nesting pairs, an increase in chicks hatched, and an increase in surviving chicks. However, a higher overall mortality rate of all loons, (including non-nesting pairs), was discovered. Ingestion of lead tackle is a large factor, in addition to other causes. Scientists are concerned that if lead tackle is not quickly removed from lakes, this increase in overall mortality will continue. The Lead Tackle Buyback program is continuing this season. The LPC is working on the final list of shops that will accept old lead fishing tackle that may be in your attic, and will offer a gift certificate in return. (See Below).

LPC volunteers built new rafts this past March for use on lakes that do not have natural islands. These rafts are safer for the loons, because they help the birds avoid shoreline predators. Some of the rafts this year, may have shady covers over them, especially on rafts that are used in more southerly lakes in the state. During past summers, loons were observed leaving nests more often in order to cool off, thus putting their eggs in jeopardy.

Stores participating in the Lead Tackle Buyback Program will be finalized, and announced by the LPC after May 24th. As soon as this list is available, we will make it place it on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

The LPC is always looking for Field Volunteers. If interested, contact them at: (603)476-5666.

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