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National Loon Center acquires land as part of loon habitat preservation project

The National Loon Center’s vision is to be a leader in loon preservation and freshwater conservation. This land purchase is one large “loon dive” toward this goal. The lakes that are protected in part by the acquired land are among the most significant loon nesting areas in the region, with at least seven pairs of loons occupying the lakes. Two of those pairs nest in the bays directly along the National Loon Center’s new land purchase.

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

CROSSLAKE — The National Loon Center acquired approximately 6 acres of land with over 2,500 feet of shoreline in Fifty Lakes to protect critical loon nesting habitat.

With this purchase, relatively undisturbed aquatic and riparian habitat that supports nesting loons and a whole host of other wildlife will be protected, a news release stated.

The land itself is home to many species of native trees and wildflowers, all essential to a healthy ecosystem. Funding for this project was provided from the Outdoor Heritage Fund to restore, protect, and enhance Minnesota’s wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.

The National Loon Center’s vision is to be a leader in loon preservation and freshwater conservation. This land purchase is one large “loon dive” toward this goal. The lakes, protected in part by the acquired land, are among the most significant loon nesting areas in the region, with at least seven pairs of loons occupying the lakes. Two of those pairs nest in the bays directly along the National Loon Center’s new land purchase.

These numbers are made more impressive by the fact that lakes between 13-125 acres in size can only accommodate one loon pair. Loons are very territorial and pairs must find a territory either by evicting another loon pair or finding a new area on a vacant lake. A young loon can spend more than two years searching for a territory. These territories are where the loons will raise their young and are usually in shallow, open water with plenty of small fish. It is this type of education about the behavior of loons the National Loon Center will provide via its world-class facility, slated to open to the public in the spring of 2024. With the addition of this land comes the opportunity for more expansive education and conservation initiatives.

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To stay informed on the National Loon Center’s progress, visit www.nationallooncenter.org . To learn more about the Outdoor Heritage Fund, visit www.legacy.mn.gov/outdoor-heritage-fund .

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENT
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