Lake County volunteers needed for loon survey
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers to help monitor the loon population in Lake and Cook counties. Volunteers are needed for one day during the June 29 through July 9 monitoring period.
For the past 20 years, with the assistance of hundreds of volunteer observers, the DNR has gathered information about common loon numbers on more than 600 lakes distributed among six regions — or "index areas" — throughout the state.
"The annual survey offers people a unique opportunity to enjoy a morning outdoors while being part of a team that monitors the health and welfare of Minnesota's state bird," said Gaea Crozier, DNR Northeast Region nongame specialist. "The results allow the DNR to detect long-term changes in loon population health and help assess impacts of ongoing lakeshore development."
Volunteers can choose one or more of the following lakes to count the number of adult and juvenile loons seen and report these observations to the DNR for data analysis: Homer, Bonanza, Cross River Lake, Lake T and Thunderbird.
The time commitment is one to four hours per lake. Surveys must be done between 5 a.m. and noon on one day during the monitoring period.
Volunteers must commit to completing one or more assigned lakes and consider participating in the program for multiple years. Surveys can be conducted from shore on smaller lakes, or by boat or canoe on larger lakes. The DNR will provide detailed instructions, training materials, maps and a data form.
Anyone interested should contact Ashley Kastner at 218-328-8823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program is supported donations to the nongame wildlife check-off on Minnesota's tax forms.
For more information on Minnesota's loon monitoring program, visit mndnr.gov/eco/nongame/projects.
For information about common loons, visit mndnr.gov/birds.