Although we evaluate the conservation of Common Loons in many ways, the best measure of our success is this: the number of nesting loons in Vermont rose to a record 84 pairs in 2014 from a mere seven when our recovery efforts began 30 years ago.
VCE’s broad approach to loon conservation – monitoring, research, rescue, and citizen engagement – can be measured in other ways as well:
- Listed as state endangered in 1987, the Common Loon was removed from the Vermont Endangered Species List in 2005.
- More than 320 volunteers joined VCE in Common Loon protection and monitoring in 2014.
- Forty-nine Common Loons, which wouldn’t have otherwise survived, were rescued by VCE, state game wardens, or volunteers from 2002-2014.
- At least 50 additional loons in distress were monitored closely but did not need direct assistance.
- Vermont loons produce chicks at one of the highest rates in New England – 0.70 chicks per territorial pair over a 10-year period. The North American average is 0.52 chicks per territorial pair. The Vermont rate may be starting to slow, however, as loons now begin to move into more marginal breeding territories.
- The VCE loon biologist and volunteers monitor more than 130 lakes up to six times per month and another 170 lakes at least once during the summer.
- Additional volunteer contributions in the past decade include:
- the discovery of between three and seven new territorial and nesting pair each year
- more than 750 hours assisting with 85 loon rescues
- assisting with nest warning signs and nesting rafts on more than 40 lakes
- Floating nest warning signs around nest sites at high risk to human disturbance increased nesting success from 55% for sites without signs to 81% with signs.
Annual Reports on the Status of Common Loons in Vermont
Each year, along with our major partner in loon recovery and conservation, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, we report on the status of Common Loons in Vermont. You can download these annual accounts.
Our annual newsletter, published jointly with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, features our latest work with loons and some of the volunteers critical to our success.