Preservation through education is critical to our mission!
One of the most powerful educational tools we have in MLPA is for people to actually "see" the Common Loon. The beauty and size of our famous threatened bird often takes their breath away. For many Michigan residents who are unable to frequent the northern part our state, this can only be accomplished through a quality educational display featuring an actual loon.
MLPA has placed loon mounts in four areas of the state on display, along with educational materials. Some of you may remember Mookwa or Mahng from previous newsletter stories. These native names were selected for two of the beautiful loon mounts donated by members to MLPA and used for educational purposes. The actual loons are featured in protective cases depicting natural surroundings.
Recently one of the MLPA mounts was placed in the Cadillac library thanks to a board member, Bob Bowlus. The local librarian expressed great enthusiasm and displayed several library books featuring the loon around the display and had included stories about the loon in the summer children's reading program.
Loons for the displays are provided by researchers or organizations which find already deceased loons. No loon mount is prematurely threatened for the purpose of creating a loon mount. Each mount also displays the story of the loon, how old it was, how it may have died, etc., often a poignant reminder of the plight of Michigan's Common Loon. Loon mounts are regulated by federal permit. The MLPA federal permit allows for the creation of loon mounts for educational purposes only.