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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Speculator, NY ,

This photo from last year's pilot study documents high human disturbance at a loon nest on Limekiln Lake, which subsequently failed. (Photo submitted)

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Help protect nesting Adirondack loons

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - Updated: 7:58 PM

RAY BROOK -- Biodiversity Research Institute's Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has launched a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, www.adirondackgives.org, the crowd-funding site for Adirondack region nonprofits.

This campaign will provide support for placing trail cameras near approximately 30 common loon nest sites in the Adirondack Park to document nesting behaviors, clutch size, and hatch dates, and to assess the primary factors (e.g., predation, human disturbance) impacting the birds during incubation.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provided the cameras for this project. Support from this campaign, which is seeking to raise $1,100, will cover the cost of the lithium-ion batteries and high capacity SD cards used in the cameras.

"By placing cameras at a variety of loon nest sites, we are better able to assess the impacts of such factors as water level fluctuation, shoreline development, human disturbance, and predation on loon nesting success," explained Dr. Nina Schoch, coordinator of BRI's Adirondack Loon Center. "A pilot study we did in 2013 documented the failure of one loon nest likely related to intensive human disturbance on a busy campground lake, while another nest on a remote lake hatched two chicks successfully."

PHOTOS WILL HELP

Images collected in this project will be utilized by the DEC to better manage loon nest sites in the Adirondack Park, to help ensure the successful hatching of loon chicks. This project is conducted under BRI's federal and state scientific collection permits, and in collaboration with the DEC.__

The nesting period is one of the most critical stages during the annual life cycle of loons. Thus, it is highly recommended that boaters and paddlers give incubating loons their privacy, and watch them from a distance with binoculars, instead of disturbing them and potentially causing a nest to fail.

LEARN STRESSORS

It is important to learn about the normal behavior of loons (and other wildlife), so one can properly interpret when a bird is stressed by human presence.

To learn more, or to contribute to this campaign, visit www.adirondackgives.org, and click on "Help Digitize Historical Adirondack Loon Slides." As a special incentive, donors of $100 or more will receive an 8- by 10-inchn photograph of a nesting Adirondack loon.

     

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