HOPE — Have you ever wondered what goes on in the life of a Maine loon? Where do they go in winter? How long do they live? Why do they make those haunting calls at night? How many are there in Maine?
The public is invited to hear Susan Gallo, Maine Audubon Wildlife Biologist and Director of the Maine Loon Project, present the State of Maine's Common Loons at the Megunticook Watershed Association's Annual Meeting, Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. at Camp Bishopswood in Hope.
There will be a short business meeting before Gallo speaks at 7:30 p.m.
This presentation answers those questions and many more, not just about the life of loons in Maine throughout the year, but also about the threats they face and conservation actions we can all take to help ensure loons thrive on our lakes and ponds.
Highlighted in Gallo’s presentation will be the results from 30 years of loon monitoring by Audubon's "loon count" volunteers, what has been learned from 25 years collecting loon carcasses and analyzing how they died, and how those results helped strengthen Maine's lead sinker and jig ban.
Bring in your old lead tackle to exchange for lead-free alternatives that are better for loons and better for Maine’s lakes.
Gallo is a wildlife biologist with more than 20 years of experience in wildlife monitoring, conservation policy, and land/forest management. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and a Master of Science in Organismal Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana. As a certified stewardship advisor for the state of Montana, she helped forest landowners develop long-term management plans for their property. She has monitored avian populations and nesting success for private timber companies and the state of Montana, and has worked as a natural resources consultant for several nonprofit organizations. Since 1998, she has been a wildlife biologist with Maine Audubon, and the director of the Maine Loon Project. Loon project activities include the annual state-wide volunteer "loon count," assessments of loon habitat quality and productivity, analyses of loon mortality, and outreach and education programs, including the Common Loons in the Classroom curriculum and a Fish Lead-Free initiative. Other projects include coordination of the Maine Amphibian Monitoring Program, initiation of an Important Bird Area program for Maine, development of a Forestry for Maine Birds program that focuses on how forest practices can benefits priority forest birds, support of well-sited wind power development in Maine, including the 2013 report, Wind Power and Wildlife in Maine, and support of BatME, a new citizen science initiative to find and monitor bats in Maine. Gallo is a 2011 TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow, a program sponsored by National Audubon and Toyota.
The Megunticook Watershed Association is devoted to environmental preservation and improvement, working to maintain and better the quality of the Megunticook Lake, Megunticook River, Norton Pond, Moody Pond and their feeder streams in Knox and Waldo counties. For more information visit megunticook.org.