Canadian Lakes Loon Survey

Birds Canada
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Birds Canada (BC) states that loons fulfill the same role for a lake that the canary fulfilled in the mines – acting as an indicator of environmental conditions. BC’s Canadian Lake Loon Survey (CLLS) monitors loon reproductive success and has proven effective for monitoring broader lake health. A 2020 report examined the drivers of decline in common loon productivity in Ontario.  

 

We are fortunate to have loons frequent Nepahwin Lake, but it has been several years since there has been a sighting of successful loon nesting and chick survival. Chris Nash, a former ardent Nepahwin Lake steward recalls nesting loons 15 to 20 years ago, leading some watershed residents to ask a similar question about the possibility of the common loon nesting and raising chicks. As Dr Jon Gunn asked regarding the historical lake trout population in Lake Nepahwin: “It’s a hard challenge,” he said, “But why not try to return what was there?”.

 

We reached out to some local experts, Chris Blomme of the Sudbury Ornithological Society and Marlies Shoenefeld of the Sudbury Naturalists. In light of human disturbance and shoreline development/disturbance, both were cautiously optimistic about the future of common loons nesting on the lake.   

 

Bridget King is the registered volunteer for Nepahwin Lake with the Canadian Lake Loon Survey. She asks that watershed residents inform her of their sightings of loons, especially if there are signs of nesting activity or loon chicks.  Contact Us 

Learn more about loons' preferred habitats, nesting and migratory habits here.

Want to do your part for the loons? Find tips on how to help them here. 

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Sources:

Bianchini K et al. Drivers of Decline in Common Loon (Gavier imma) Productivity in Ontario, Canada. Science and the Total Environment, 2020  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139724

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