The Common Loon is listed by Wyoming Game & Fish as a Tier 1 Species of Greatest Conservation Need and is considered the rarest breeding bird in Wyoming. The population of only 21 territorial pairs can be found on lakes in the northwest portion of the state in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests. These loons are at the southern extent of the species' range and are isolated by over 200 miles from the nearest breeding population.
Wyoming’s landscape is a study in contrasts, from shortgrass prairies and sagebrush steppes to the stunning peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
Yellowstone National Park is dedicated to preserving the state’s natural environments and native species. One such species, the Common Loon, is in danger of disappearing. Since the mid-2000s, this population has declined by nearly 42 percent and is considered one of the most southern populations in its range.
The Common Loon is considered the highest ranked Species of Greatest Need by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
BRI studies loons across North America, including a small and isolated population in Yellowstone National Park. Hear what it's like, and find out how biologists capture loons, in Episode 1 of Yellowstone's Telemetry podcast, To Catch a Loon.
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