Threats to Loons-Natural and Man Made
§ Loss of nesting habitat due to lakeshore development for homes, recreation, or campsites.
§ An increased number of humans on lakes.
§ Noise and disturbance from boats and personal watercraft. Chasing loons, swamping nests with excess wake, washing eggs out of the nest, or running over chicks or adults.
§ Getting too close to the nest or Loon family with a boat or canoe.
§ Water quality changes that occur from septic systems, acid rain, and mercury contamination.
§ Water level fluctuation with resultant flooding of nests, or stranding the nesting adults too far from rapid escape to the water.
§ Entrapment and drowning in fishing nets on the Great Lakes and oceans.
§ Accidentally landing on wet roads and parking lots, which appear as open water. The heavy bird is easily injured by its own weight, and may become infected and die.
§ Becoming ice bound by early winter ice. Birds can quickly become hypothermic and perish.
§ Lead sinkers and fishing line causing injury, entanglement, illness, and/or death.
§ Increase in predators such as eagles, mink, otters, ravens, raccoons, and gulls; the latter two often caused by an increase in population and garbage.
§ Competition from exotic and aggressive Mute Swans.
§ Botulism infections may occur in periodic epidemics with hundreds of loons dying on the Great Lakes.
§ Decrease in fish supply or other food due to over fishing or contamination of water. A visual predator, the loon needs clear, clean water to catch its prey.