Event Title

Effects of Water Level on the Nesting Success of the Common Loon in New Hampshire

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Leonard Reitsma

Location

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Presentation Type

Event

Start Date

4-28-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 3:00 PM

Abstract

Loons are listed as threatened in the state of New Hampshire therefore understanding the causes of nest failure is important for conservation efforts. Nests are placed along the shoreline leaving them at risk of flooding or stranding. The goal of this study was to test how changing water levels affect the nesting success of Common Loons (Gavia immer) in New Hampshire. We analyzed data on nesting attempts on Lake Umbagog in Errol, NH and Lake Winnipesaukee in Laconia, NH. Lake Umbagog was chosen because its water levels vary due to a hydroelectric dam on the Androscoggin River in Errol, NH, whereas water levels in Lake Winnipesaukee remain fairly constant. Water level data for Lake Umbagog were collected daily by Brookfield Renewable and Winnipesaukee and data were collected hourly by NH Department of Environmental Services (DES). Data for loon nest attempts were recorded by the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC). Of the failed nest attempts from 2012-2016, those on Lake Umbagog failed sooner after onset than those on Winnipesaukee and water levels were significantly more variable on Lake Umbagog. There are other factors that determine nest success or failure but it is likely that water level plays an important role.

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Apr 28th, 2:00 PM Apr 28th, 3:00 PM

Effects of Water Level on the Nesting Success of the Common Loon in New Hampshire

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Loons are listed as threatened in the state of New Hampshire therefore understanding the causes of nest failure is important for conservation efforts. Nests are placed along the shoreline leaving them at risk of flooding or stranding. The goal of this study was to test how changing water levels affect the nesting success of Common Loons (Gavia immer) in New Hampshire. We analyzed data on nesting attempts on Lake Umbagog in Errol, NH and Lake Winnipesaukee in Laconia, NH. Lake Umbagog was chosen because its water levels vary due to a hydroelectric dam on the Androscoggin River in Errol, NH, whereas water levels in Lake Winnipesaukee remain fairly constant. Water level data for Lake Umbagog were collected daily by Brookfield Renewable and Winnipesaukee and data were collected hourly by NH Department of Environmental Services (DES). Data for loon nest attempts were recorded by the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC). Of the failed nest attempts from 2012-2016, those on Lake Umbagog failed sooner after onset than those on Winnipesaukee and water levels were significantly more variable on Lake Umbagog. There are other factors that determine nest success or failure but it is likely that water level plays an important role.