Loon Habitat Update & Thank you!k
A few quick updates for you all... Sept, 2012
WORKSHOPS: If you have a group of active loon counters on your lake or in your region, and you'd like to arrange for a workshop to review the assessment protocol and go over the data collection methods, please let me know. I have a small travel budget and time to meet with 6 or 8 groups this fall. If you are interested in this opportunity, please give me a call ASAP so we can talk further. I realize that the timing might not be great for some of you, and apologize for that. I may have additional funding in the spring to cover additional meetings, and will keep you posted.
PHOTOS: If anyone can take photos of volunteers doing the assessment work, I'd love to have them for my fellowship reports. Toyota wants to see how people are "taking action", any photos you could send my way would be great, thank you!
THERE'S STILL TIME! If you're still on your lake, it's not too late to do an assessment for this year! You can find everything you need at http://maineaudubon.org/wildlife-habitat/the-maine-loon-project/loon-habitat-quality/. I want to emphasize that even if your loons failed to have a successful nest in the past, we'd still the lake habitat assessment information (even without a known nest site). We need data at both successful and failed lakes/territories to see if we can learn which habitat factors are driving loon productivity. So even lakes without active or successful nesting loons are critically important! Thanks for any time you can put toward this assessment this fall, and again, if you think a small group workshop would work in your region, please just let me know.
FINALLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, A HUGE THANKS to all the folks who have already completed and mailed in a habitat quality assessment! I am accumulating quite a stack, and that's a testimony to your enthusiasm and interest in loon conservation. A more formal thank you (and a small token of appreciation!) will be coming in the mail, but in the meantime, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
ONE LAST PLEA FOR HELP, FOR INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD SINKERS! We had a legal intern here at Maine Audubon do some updating of state laws regulating lead tackle, and one of the questions we have is how effective our lead sinker law (banning the sale of lead sinkers a half ounce or less) has been. We are working with Mark Pokras at Tufts to update Maine's loon mortality data, but we'd also like to know how much lead tackle is still readily available. If you come across tackle shops in your travels and can do a quick survey of their sinkers, I'd be interested in knowing if they are selling lead sinkers, and if so, in what sizes. If there are a lot of tackle shops out there selling small lead sinkers, we'd like to work on some outreach efforts this winter to be sure store owners are aware of the regulations. If you have any observations as you travel the state, please let me know.
THANK YOU for any effort on this front, on top of the other loon conservation work you are doing!
I probably won't bother you with any more mass updates this year, but keep up to date on the goings-on of the Maine Loon Project, including loon count results which are generally compiled in November, at our webpage: maineaudubon.org/loons.
Enjoy your fall!
Susan M. Gallo