It’s almost time for Minnesota’s annual survey of how loons are doing on northern lkes, but several lakes in Itasca, Lake, Cook, Aitkin and Crow Wing counties still need volunteer loon watchers to help.
The surveys are conducted between June 26 and July 6 each year. Volunteers are needed for one day during that period to count the number of adult and juvenile loons on preselected lakes.
For the past 20 years, with the assistance of hundreds of volunteer observers, the Department of Natural Resources has gathered information about common loon numbers on more than 600 lakes distributed among six regions. The annual loon count gives the DNR the ability to detect changes in the loon population and identify potential management needs and opportunities.
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. Surveys can be conducted from shore on smaller lakes, or by boat or canoe on larger lakes.
To sign up as a loon survey volunteer and select a lake, go to the DNR’s loon monitoring program page at dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/mlmp_state.html and click on “Volunteer Map.”
For more information, call Bry Persing at 218-735-3962 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.