Our political boundaries keep almost all of our loon conservation efforts focused in Vermont, but during the past few years, I’ve received many phone calls and emails asking for assistance from far away places – Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, California, Minnesota, New Hampshire and across Canada. They find us on the internet. If you google loons and rescue or distress, VCE and the Loon Preservation Committee of New Hampshire rise to the top of the list. With the network of biologists who study and manage loons around the country and from our own experience, I can usually find the right answer or the right person to help whomever asks.
Just last week, Riley Wideman, a park ranger in Alberta, Canada, emailed asking for ideas on what to do with a loon that was tangled in fishing gear and eluded capture. I contacted my fellow loon biologists in New York and New Hampshire for their opinion too. Between the three of us, we gave Riley enough information to help him capture the loon and free it from the fishing gear.
Riley wrote, “Success! Last night we managed to catch the loon, and after bringing the loon to a wildlife rescue, the hooks have been removed and we will be releasing her this afternoon! I would personally like to thank the three of you for your exceptional willingness to help, without your advice this success story would not have been possible. Again, I really appreciate all of your outgoing nature and attribute this success to you.”