ORRINGTON – Massachusetts could be hearing loons within the next couple of years. scientists are working to restore them back to their formerly occupied areas.
When hearing the sound of a loon, some describe its song as haunting, while others believe it to be relaxing. Now the birds population is being restored in Massachusetts through a project know as Restore the Call.
“That’s the name that Biodiversity Research Institute has given the project,” said Danielle D’Auria, a wildlife biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, “It’s basically restoring the loons call, everybody loves the call of the loon.”
“It’s to reestablish healthy breeding loon populations in places where they used to breed but they no longer do right now,” said David Evers, executive director and chief scientist at Biodiversity Research Institute.
Maine and New York are providing 10 chicks for Massachusetts, which will be put in highly productive lakes. There are currently only 45 breeding pairs in the state, which is not a vibrant population. As a result, the birds are highly monitored.
“If we didn’t do this, it could take decades or it may never happen if we left loons on their own devices,” said Evers, “Letting nature take its course can take a long time.”
“Really what this is seen as, is a tool to restore loons to where we want to restore them,” said D’Auria.
Breeding them in pairs could be a stepping stone in creating new ways of helping the species.
“It is a stepping stone. The stepping stone that we create are very important for us to better understand how to raise animals in captive situation, that you can release back into nature later,” said Evers.
Wanting the loons to remain wild, the locations of the birds will be kept secret for their own protection.
“We’re very careful with each individuals and our goal is to have 20 loons chicks at each of these sites,” said Evers.
The chicks will be held in aquatic enclosures and will be monitored as they are being acclimated to their new environments.