More about CLLS
The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey was initiated in Ontario in 1981,
and expanded nationally in 1989. The early focus was on monitoring
the negative effects of acid rain on breeding loons. During its
first decade the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey data showed a direct
link between acid rain and loon chick survival. Since the early
years, much has been done to address acid rain yet today lake
acidity still reduces loon reproduction throughout Canada.
Human disturbance and development are ongoing threats to loons.
Canadian Lakes Loon surveyors report many activities that are
detrimental to loons including: disturbance of nesting sites (as a
result of boats, canoes/kayaks, personal watercraft, and water level
changes); entanglement in discarded debris (fishing lines and
domestic garbage); nest predation due to attracting and support of
nest predators (raccoons, skunks, and gulls); and displacement of
loons through habitat loss. Reproductive success data from the
Canadian Lakes Loon Survey clearly show that the number of chicks
that each pair produces each year is declining over time.
Ultimately, local human disturbance can be minimized when people
are sensitive to needs of loons. As more people move into loon
country, promoting loon-friendly activities is increasingly
important. Canadian Lakes Loon Survey participants continue to play
a key educational role through distributing brochures, creating
informative displays, erecting signs, building nest platforms,
addressing local concerns, and, of course, tracking loon chick
survival over their first, critical summer.