Loons & Grebes
Loons & Grebes in Trouble

Loons & Grebes In Trouble

A decrease in Loon and Grebe occupancy and productivity on lakes in the Mat-Su area has been documented with data provided by Loon and Grebe Watch volunteers, raising concerns about the stability of these populations and the various pressures facing them. Loons and Grebes are an integral part of wetlands ecosystems, and are excellent indicators of environmental quality (clean air, clean water, and adequate open space). Habitat loss, due to the expansion of the human presence in lake areas, and the contamination and pollution of once pristine lakes, are two threats facing Loons and Grebes in Alaska today.

Specific factors involved in declines of Loons and Grebes in Alaska include:

  • Litter — fishing line & plastics can entangle Loons and Grebes as well as other wildlife.
  • Use of Lead Sinkers — Loons may ingest these while looking for small pebbles which aid in their digestion.
  • Wakes by motorized watercraft — these can destroy Loon & Grebe habitat.
  • Getting too Close — If you see a Loon or Grebe rising out of the water and running and splashing, you are too close. This may result in abandonment of the nest by the adult, which may lead to the eggs becoming too cold and die or introduce the risk of predation.
  • Dogs — Keep your dogs away from bird nesting areas.