Every year, TILT partners with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation to recruit volunteers for the Annual Loon Census. On the morning of July 20th, participants selected an area of their choice to sit for an hour and observe Common Loons. They recorded data on the loons they saw, including count, age, and location, as well as weather and other environmental variables.
One lucky winner is chosen each year out of the volunteers who participate in the loon census. Randomly drawn, the winner this year was Janet Gregware, who was presented with the coveted reward: a beautiful hand-painted wooden loon paddle, made and donated by John Miller III. This paddle was awarded at the Volunteer Recognition Event on Thursday, August 1st, which served as a celebration and thank you for all of the work volunteers do to further TILT’s mission.
Common Loon populations in the Adirondack region and on the St. Lawrence face numerous threats, including mercury pollution, shoreline development, fishing line entanglement, lead poisoning from ingestion of toxic fishing tackle, and human disturbance. The loon census provides valuable information on the status of the population, which can be influential in guiding management and conservation decisions.