Imagine a northern lake without the haunting calls and awe-inspiring presence of the common loon. It’s a disturbing thought, but in some places, it’s happening. Air and water pollution, loss of habitat, and increasing recreational activities on lakes all pose serious threats to loons across North America, and in some cases are responsible for loons and loon music disappearing from traditional nesting lakes.
LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, protects common loons and their aquatic habitats through education, monitoring, and research. Though our primary focus is Wisconsin, our education and research activities extend to Upper Great Lakes region, such as Michigan and Minnesota. We also lend support to North American conservation efforts by working with loon conservation organizations across the United States and Canada. LoonWatch, its Advisory Council, and volunteers are all working toward common goals of loon conservation and protection.
Held the first week of May, LoonWatch promotes loon education and conservation during Loon Appreciation Week by creating and distributing a new Loon Appreciation Week poster each year. We also attempt to get as many Speakers’ Bureau members as possible to give presentations during this special week.
Loon Photo Contest
So where do we get all the great images for our poster? From folks like you! If you think you have a fantastic loon photo that would make a great poster image, submit your photos. The photo contest has attracted entrants from across the country, and Canada! Ethical wildlife photography required.
- Photo contest entry rules and guidelines.
The poster is funded through sponsorships. Perhaps you or your organization, lake association, nature center, or group would like to become a sponsor for the Loon Appreciation Week poster. Thank you to our 2014 poster sponsors:
$500 or More
- Conserve School
- BioDiversity Research Institute
- Dan and Joanne Dugenske
- Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, US Forest Service
- Sayner-St. Germain Fish and Wildlife Club
- The Montana Loon Society
- Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Alma Moon P & R District
The Speakers’ Bureau helps LoonWatch achieve its mission to educate citizens about loon ecology, current research initiatives, and lets them know what they can do to protect loons. The LoonWatch Speakers’ Bureau is comprised of volunteers who have natural resources and loon monitoring experience, as well as LoonWatch staff who are trained to give professional presentations about loons and LoonWatch. Our volunteers learn to give customized educational presentations for groups like lake associations, schools, libraries, non-profits, and other organizations. To request a presentation, please complete the form.
For more information about the program, contact the Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute by email or call (715) 682-1220.