Minnesota DNR Needs Kandiyohi County Volunteers for July 2-12 Loon Survey – West Central Tribune
WILLMAR — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to help monitor the loon population in Kandiyohi County. Volunteers are needed, for at least one morning during the July 2-12 monitoring period, to count the number of adult and juvenile loons on the pre-selected lakes.
For more than 20 years, with the help of hundreds of volunteer observers, the DNR has collected information on common loon numbers on more than 600 lakes in six regions, or “index areas,” across the state. .
“Our loon survey volunteers are critical to the success of our annual survey,” Gaea Crozier, Northeast Region Non-Game Wildlife Specialist, said in a news release. “The annual loon count allows us to detect changes in the loon population and identify potential management needs and opportunities.”
Volunteers can choose one or more lakes on which to count the number of adult and juvenile loons. They will then report these observations to the MRN for data analysis.
Lakes in Kandiyohi County that need volunteers include Bass, Bear, Brenner, Calhoun, Church, Diamond, East Solomon, Fladeboe Slough, Gina, Hefta, Hubbard, Knutsons, Long, Mamre, Norstedt, Schultz, Swenson, West Solomon and Wheeler.
The time commitment is one to four hours per lake. Each lake should be surveyed between 5:00 a.m. and noon on a given day during the monitoring period.
Volunteers must commit to completing one or more assigned lakes and are encouraged to consider participating in the program for multiple years. Surveys can be conducted from shore on small lakes, or by boat or canoe on large lakes.
Volunteers use an online system to book and manage their lake assignments, view maps and information about their lakes, and print data collection sheets. The online system was funded by a donation from the Minnesota United professional football team, whose mascot is a loon.
To register as a survey volunteer and select a lake, go to
on dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/mlmp_state.html and click on “Volunteer Map”. Select an available lake, add it to the volunteer basket and register to become a loon spotter.
People with questions about becoming a volunteer for the loon population can contact Regional Loon Coordinator Dorie Tess at 507-233-1250 or [email protected]
The Minnesota Loon Watch Program is supported by donations to the nongame wildlife levy on Minnesota tax forms.