Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Campaign Seeks To Help Protect Nesting Adirondack Loons

2013-BRI-ACLC Limekiln Camera -Don't disturb nesting loonsBiodiversity Research Institute’s (BRI’s) Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has announced a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, www.adirondackgives.org, the crowdfunding 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 (e.g., predation, human disturbance) impacting the birds during incubation.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) 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.

“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,” Dr. Nina Schoch, Coordinator of BRI’s Adirondack Loon Center explained in a statement to the press. “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 by the project will be utilized by the NYS DEC to better manage loon nesting sites in the Adirondack Park to help ensure the successful hatching of loon chicks. The project is conducted under BRI’s federal and state scientific collection permits, and in collaboration with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

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. Boaters and paddlers should give incubating loons their privacy, and watch them from a distance, 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 contribute to this campaign visit www.adirondackgives.org. Donors of $100 or more will receive an 8×10 photograph of a nesting Adirondack loon.

To learn more about BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, contact [email protected] or (207) 839-7600 x 145, visit www.briloon.org/adkloon, or like BRI ‘s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation at www.facebook.com/adkloon to stay updated about BRI’s Adirondack loon research and outreach efforts.

Photo taken from a pilot study last year, which documented high human disturbance at one loon nest site on Limekiln Lake, that subsequently failed (provided).

 

 

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