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The Maine Loon Project
For nearly four decades, Maine Audubon has worked to conserve Maine’s iconic Common Loon through the Maine Loon Project. This year marks the 38th year that volunteers participated in the project’s Maine Annual Loon Count, which engages over a thousand dedicated volunteers on the third Saturday of July each year in a snapshot census of Common Loons on lakes throughout the state. The data enables biologists to estimate the annual breeding population and track the status of Common Loons from year to year. The data is displayed to the public on the Lakes of Maine data portal. Tracy Hart, the Director of the Maine Loon Project, will talk about the Maine Annual Loon Count, statewide population trends, and some of the tools on the Lakes of Maine site for finding out more about counts and survey efforts on individual lakes over the years. She will also share some fun facts about Common Loon natural history, threats, and loon conservation efforts in Maine, including an exciting new journey that Maine Audubon is embarking on starting this year in partnership with Maine Lakes and Lakes Environmental Association to expand the Maine Loon Project to include a season-long loon monitoring, a statewide lead tackle buyback and exchange program, and additional work with lake associations to protect nesting loons and loon families on our lakes and ponds. Come join us in this talk to find out how loons are doing in the state of Maine, what is unique and special about these fascinating birds, the challenges they face, and how Lake Stewards and CBIs can get involved in loon protection and conservation.

Jul 30, 2021 03:55 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Tracy Hart
Tracy joined Maine Audubon as a Wildlife Ecologist in 2019 where she works to conserve wildlife and habitat and engage the public in community science. As Director of the Maine Loon Project she works with regional coordinators and over a thousand volunteers each year to conduct the Maine Annual Loon count. She is also involved in the Maine Fish Lead Free Initiative, Maine Lead Tackle Buyback Program, and Maine Lakes Loon Smart Program to promote stewardship of Common Loons through lead-free fishing practices and landowner habitat protection. In addition, Tracy facilitates a song meter project as part of the Forestry for Maine Birds program to track how forest breeding birds respond to forestry practices conducted “with birds in mind.” She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and an M.S. in Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development from the University of Maryland and brings over two decades of experience in wildlife conservation and environmental education...