Help Protect Loons on Squam
The Squam Lakes Association (SLA) and the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) are working together to re-establish a Loon Chick Watch volunteer program on Squam Lakes in 2013. We are very excited about this partnership and hope to recruit a dedicated corps of volunteers who can give time to help protect loon chicks during the height of breeding season – July and August.
Last year was a dismal year for the loon population on Squam. There were fourteen territorial pairs, a drop of one pair from 2011. Only seven of the fourteen pairs nested in 2012, three of those nesting pairs abandoned their eggs, and only three chicks fledged between Big and Little Squam.
There are many factors contributing to the decline and poor reproductive success of the loon population on Squam, some better understood than others. We do know that loons and their chicks face danger when crossing channels during busy boating times on Squam and from stress and disturbance caused by the close approach of paddlers and other boaters.
Loon Chick Watch volunteers will watch the loons in 2-3 hour shifts during busy recreation times on the lake. Volunteers will station themselves a safe distance from loons but close enough to observe the chicks. They will alert and educate boaters and others using the lake.
Loon Chick Watch volunteers have an opportunity to help loons through education. We want to encourage visitors to continue to enjoy the lake while better understanding and respecting the unique wildlife and habitats that makes Squam a special place for all.
If you are interested in becoming a Loon Chick Watch Volunteer, contact the SLA at (603) 968-7336 or click here to contact Jennifer Mattrick, SLA Volunteer and Communications coordinator.
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the Loon Chick Watch program over the summer. Unfortunately, 2013 was another tough year for loon chicks on Squam. We will work to improve the program for 2014 and hopefully next year will be a better year for the loons. Stayed tuned for more information to come!