The media likes a “feel-good” story and this summer they’ve picked up loons as a “good” topic. VCE biologist and Vermont Loon Conservation Project Coordinator, Eric Hanson, was recently interviewed for a short segment on WCAX news and a long conversation (30 min.) for Burlington’s Ch. 17 Public Access TV station. Some of VLCP loon volunteer Gail Osherenko’s video footage from Loon Chick’s First Summer is shown during the Channel 17 interview (www.LoonChicksFirstSummer.com). To view these interviews, go to:
WCAX news spot: http://www.wcax.com/story/26439773/helping-loon-chicks-thrive-in-vt
Channel 17 / Town Meeting TV: http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/vermont-loon-conservation-project
And the story is good, mostly, with another record year in nest attempts (83 confirmed, checking on a potential 84th). Chick productivity is down about 10% compared to previous years but Vermont is still above the national average. The reason for the decline is due in part to competition amongst loons, which is expected to maintain a stable population. On the negative side, we’ve had 5 adult mortalities all caused by fishing gear, including at least 3 of these from lead fishing gear. More specifics about the summer loon season results will be coming shortly.
Next spring, look for another story on WCAX’s and UVM’s Across the Fence Program featuring VLCP volunteers Roy Pilcher and Bob and Linda Tucker.