It’s no exaggeration to say there are several lakes across Northern Michigan in a death spiral to losing their loons, and more tragic, their status as a loon breeding territory. Anyone wishing to help stop this unnecessary loss can get involved today.
In spring 2014, volunteers will be needed for several one-time or ongoing loon preservation projects. The time required for these efforts varies from a few days out of the season to weekly visits. The locations for these projects range throughout the six northernmost LP Counties. Interested volunteers will be asked to select from a list of locations (a verified loon breeding lake, suitable nesting lake, or experimental lake). Duties required will range from installing and removing nesting rafts, placing buoys, playing loon recordings on experimental lakes, visits to an adopted lake to record nesting data, etc…
In March and April, meetings will take place in Petoskey where participants will be shown an introduction video to Common Loons, examine a full-size Artificial Nesting Platform (ANI), a Loon Alert Buoy, and discuss experimental projects for expanding Northern Michigan’s breeding loon population.
During the last decade, Avian Botulism has taken an increasing toll on Common Loons, the fall of 2012 being another dreadful example. Most casualties are migrating loons from Canada and the U.P. but we’re seeing more from Northern Michigan (as banding has shown). While little, if nothing, is being done to resolve this disturbing trend, we can help maintain, and perhaps increase, our breeding population here. That is, focus on the living rather than just counting the dead.
If you visit or fish on a loon breeding lake, or are interested in getting involved in a project that gets you up close and personal with an Endangered Species (and a fascinating one at that), perhaps even be responsible for creating a brand new loon territory, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231-548-3918 or 231-347-3688 and get on the list, or to get more information. You will be notified by email or phone when the initial meeting is scheduled. Prior experience isn’t necessary, just a determination to see your project through the season(s) and a long-term vision for success.