BRI, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN-DNR), is piloting a study to investigate the success of moving loon chicks from one area of the state to another. If successful, this method may be adopted by other states where loons are listed as threatened or species of concern.
Researchers have selected an area in the southern part of the loon’s range containing several mesotrophic lakes that provide optimal loon habitat. They have selected one lake within this area to release loon chicks. To date, twelve loon chicks have been released in southern Minnesota and fledged from the release lake.
BRI research on loon translocation was recently published in the journal, Zoo Biology. The article, A novel method for captive rearing and translocation of Common Loons, reports BRI's method for housing and captive rearing common loon chicks that was developed as part of the first‐ever loon translocation effort, from 2015 to 2017. The article also reports outcomes of the translocation effort.
Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota boasts 11,842 lakes that are larger than 10 acres in size. There are more loons in Minnesota—an estimated 4,600 territorial pairs or 52 percent of the breeding population—than in all U.S. states (except Alaska). Although the state’s loon population is healthy, current environmental threats require monitoring and action.
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