Biodiversity Research Institute's (BRI's) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has announced the launch of a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, www.adirondackgives.org, the crowd-funding site for Adirondack region nonprofits.
The campaign will provide support for the placement of trail cameras near approximately 30 Common Loon nest sites in the Adirondack Park to document nesting behaviors, clutch size and hatch dates for Adirondack loons, and to assess the primary factors (predation, human disturbance, etc.) impacting the birds during incubation.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation provided the cameras for this project. Support from this campaign, which is seeking to raise $1,100 over the next two months, will cover the cost of the lithium-ion batteries and high capacity SD cards used in the cameras.
A nesting loon on Little Clear Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area.
Mike Lynch/Lake Placid News
"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" said 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."
Images collected in this project will be utilized by the DEC to better manage loon nesting 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 state DEC.
The nesting period is one of the most critical stages during the annual life cycle of loons to ensure continued survival, long-term sustainability and potential growth of their populations. Thus, it is highly recommended that boaters and paddlers give incubating loons their privacy and watch them from a wide distance with binoculars, instead of disturbing them and potentially causing a nest to fail. 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 your 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 a beautiful 8x10-inch photograph of a nesting Adirondack loon.