A program named Restore the Call aims to restore the loon population in Massachusetts and plans to move ten chicks near Boston.
The birds in the Bay State have a number of only 50 pairs. Conservationists will try to rebuild the population by moving chicks from Maine and New York.
The Biodiversity Research Institute in Portland takes the first step in the restoration program. Even if the move is still timid, the conservationists are optimistic on the results.
The hunting and the habitat loss made the loon population go into a decline in 1898. They returned only a century later, in the 1870s, but the total number of birds in the area has reached only 45 breeding pairs.
Biologists say that everything can start with just one pair of birds. After they breed and produce young, they could establish a territory and come back to the same habitat the following year.
The action is challenged by the fact that loons can breed only after several years. They also depend on high-quality habitats with a low level of disturbances.
The bird has disappeared from Oregon and parts of Michigan, Idaho, Washington, and Montana. The species had been declared threatened in New Hampshire, where last year 26% of the hatchlings did not survive. s
The total number of loon pairs in the US decreased to only 14,000. Maine is supposed to have 2,000 pairs and New York around 1,000.
The national symbol of Canada faces threats from mercury and lead pollution all over the continent.
The Portland Institute had organized similar actions in Minnesota. This would be their second attempt in Massachusetts, as last year they brought seven pairs of loons from Adirondack area to the state and still wait on the results of their action. The delay is explained by the fact that the birds reach maturity late, and they are very picky when it comes to their habitat.
Next year, the institute plans to bring some other birds to Wyoming, by using a $6.5 million financing from the Ricketts Conservation Foundation.
In Massachusetts, the loons live near two reservoirs from the central part of the state. The new birds will be placed in an area where last year the biologists found some nests. They believe that to be an indicator that the particular zone is preferred by the birds.
The largest loon population can be found in Maine, and the residents are very fond of the flying creatures. In Audubon, people organize each year a loon count and they are prepared to support the conservationist actions that may help the birds to remain in their state.
Image Source: Public Domain Pictures