Minnesota Loon Restoration Project underway

Minnesota Loon Restoration Project Underway

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(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is sparking the conversation on conserving loon’s wildlife habitat.

The DNR and other agencies have been leading efforts in the loon restoration project since 2019 to make sure our state bird can still call the land of ten thousand lakes home.

It won’t be too long now until the common loon is back on Minnesota waters after flying south for the winter. Having a healthy ecosystem to come back to is a top priority for the DNR.

In Minnesota, the common loon is recognized for its unique call. These bodies of water and even a natural shoreline critical in the loon’s survival in the north star state.

The beloved bird took a hit during the BP oil spill back in 2010. The Gulf of Mexico, like many Minnesotans, is where these snowbirds spend their winter seasons.

“After that 2010 oil spill, Minnesota loons were affected by that. And our agencies are working together to support the restoration of the species in the entire state,” said Minnesota DNR Loon Expert Jayden Jeck.

As a part of a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit, the Minnesota DNR was awarded more than $7-million dollars for the Minnesota Loon Restoration Project.

“The work that we are doing now supporting their conservation is critical to ensuring that Minnesota has loons for years to come,” said Jeck.

The project main objectives are to acquire habitat and create places for loons to nest. This, as well as working with federal agencies, even you to help monitor the loons on the lakes with the Loon-Friendly Lake Registry Program. But this isn’t the only way you can help keep loons on the water.

“We have several programs where you can visit the DNR website to participate in programs like the Loon Watchers Survey and Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program,” said Jeck.

Right now, loon numbers in Minnesota are steady, but Minnesota’s balanced ecosystems are important to the long-term survival of the species.

“Loons are great indicators of great habitat and water quality. Seeing the loons on their lake shows that there’s a lot of great shorelines available and theirs great fish populations,” said Jeck.

For more information on how you can get involved click on these links:

Minnesota Loon Restoration Project

Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program

Loon Watcher Survey

Critical Habitat Survey

Loon Facts