Article ID: 679786
Released: 21-Aug-2017 9:00 AM EDT
Portland, ME—Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has confirmed today that the translocation of loon chicks from Maine to Massachusetts has resulted in at least one loon returning to its release lake. In its fifth year of a five-year initiative funded by the Ricketts Conservation Foundation, Restore the Call is the largest Common Loon conservation study ever conducted. Research efforts have focused in three key U.S. breeding population areas from the western mountains to the Atlantic seaboard.
Restoring bird species to their former range is an accepted bird conservation practice, but this is the first time translocation has been carried out for the Common Loon.
“This is a big moment for loon conservation,” says David Evers, Ph.D., BRI’s executive director and a leading expert on loon ecology and conservation. “This is the first time a translocated loon chick has returned to the lake from which it was released. The implications for future conservation efforts to help restore loons to their former breeding range are tremendous.”
The banded one-year-old juvenile (a term given to loons under three years of age) sighted early on Wednesday morning, August 16, was confirmed to be one of five chicks that were successfully translocated from Maine in the summer of 2016, reared in and released on a lake in southeastern Massachusetts. The juvenile, sighted again on the following day, was initially observed in a group with two other young loons, all in basic plumage (they had not yet developed the recognizable black and white breeding plumage).