The Loon Preservation Committee works to protect loons and their habitats in New Hampshire. While our work focuses on loons within our state, its impacts are far-reaching and extend to other species (including humans!) both within and outside of New Hampshire’s borders.
Time and again, loons have proven to be a species whose health and well-being provides important information about the overall health of the systems that they inhabit. More often than not, the problems that affect loons also affect other species that inhabit or spend time on the same ecosystem, including fish, other bird species, and even humans. Research into the problems that impact loons can help to uncover problems that may also be impacting other species.
This point is exemplified by the recent change in fish consumption guidelines for Squam Lake. The new, more stringent guidelines were put into place by the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) after their testing of fish caught in the lake revealed levels of PCB’s (industrial coolants) sufficient to cause impacts to human health if consumed in large quantities. This problem would not have come to light without LPC’s work—our research into contaminants impacting loons on Squam spurred NHDES to conduct the fish testing that revealed potential problems for humans.