LoonWatch Surveys in Vermont, USA

Sampling event
Latest version published by Vermont Center for Ecostudies on Sept 26, 2023 Vermont Center for Ecostudies
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Publication date:
26 September 2023
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Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 1,966 records in English (113 KB) - Update frequency: annually
Metadata as an EML file download in English (15 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (11 KB)

Description

Vermont LoonWatch was initiated in 1983 to provide an annual, mid-summer estimate of the statewide Common Loon (Gavia immer) population. It is managed by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. On the third Saturday in July each year, volunteers survey assigned lakes, ponds, and reservoirs from 8:00 to 9:00 AM, recording the number of adult, subadult (1-2 year old loons), and loon chicks on the waterbody, as well as relevant human and wildlife activity. Observers on lakes larger than 300 acres were allowed a longer survey period. Data were recorded on standardized forms and returned to the VLRP biologist for summarization via standard mail or e-mail, or submitted to Vermont eBird.

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 1,966 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)
1966
Occurrence 
2547

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.

Versions

The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Hanson E, Girard E, Loomis J, Renfrew R (2023): LoonWatch Surveys in Vermont, USA. v1.12. Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Dataset/Samplingevent. https://ipt.vtatlasoflife.org/resource?r=loonwatch_surveys&v=1.12

Rights

Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Vermont Center for Ecostudies. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has not been registered with GBIF

Keywords

Samplingevent

Contacts

Eric Hanson
  • Point Of Contact
biologist
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
20 Palmer Ct
05001 White River Junction
Vermont
US
802-649-1431
Eloise Girard
  • Point Of Contact
field biologist
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
20 Palmer Ct
05001 White River Junction
Vermont
US
802-649-1431
Jason Loomis
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Software Developer
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
20 Palmer Ct
05001 White River Junction
Vermont
US
802-649-1431
Rosalind Renfrew
  • Originator
Wildlife Diversity Program Manager
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
US
Eric Hanson
  • Point Of Contact
Biologist
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
20 Palmer Ct
05001 White River Junction
Vermont
US
802-649-1431
Eloise Girard
  • Point Of Contact
Biologist
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
20 Palmer Ct
05001 White River Junction
Vermont
US
802-649-1431

Geographic Coverage

LoonWatch covers lakes, ponds, and other water bodies having suitable habitat for Common Loons in the State of Vermont.

Bounding Coordinates South West [42.634, -73.521], North East [45.074, -71.411]

Taxonomic Coverage

Common Loons on breeding grounds.

Species Gavia immer (Common Loon)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1983-07-01 / 2023-07-17

Project Data

The LoonWatch Project is an annual census of Vermont's Common Loon population. LoonWatch is a long term Community Science project which relies on trained volunteers to conduct the census.

Title Vermont LoonWatch
Identifier VermontLoonWatch
Funding LoonWatch is funded by a variety of sources, including state and federal grants, private donors, and wildlife restoration projects.
Study Area Description LoonWatch is focused on the lakes, ponds and reservoirs of Vermont that are likely to harbor breeding loons. The specific water bodies surveyed each year vary slightly based on the availability of community scientists.
Design Description Vermont Loonwatch was initiated in 1983 to provide a mid-summer estimate of the statewide loon population. On the third Saturday in July each year, volunteers survey assigned lakes, ponds, and reservoirs from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., recording the number of adult, subadult (1-2 year old loons), and loon chicks on the water body, as well as relevant human and wildlife activity. Observers on lakes larger than 300 acres were allowed a longer survey period. Data were recorded on standardized forms and returned to the VLRP biologist for summarization via standard mail or e-mail or submitted to Vermont eBird. The information has provided an annual statewide population estimate, an estimate of the number of non-breeding loons, and a check on lakes with previously undetected breeding pairs.

The personnel involved in the project:

Eric Hanson
  • Author
Eloise Girard
  • Author

Sampling Methods

The LoonWatch sampling protocol is to perform timed area-surveys of Vermont's known or potential Common Loon nesting habitats - water bodies having adequate takeoff and landing area, sufficient water depth, and minimal threats to nest-viability. Surveys are conducted on the third Saturday of July where lakes smaller than 300 acres are surveyed from the water for one hour between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. Lakes larger than 300 acres are surveyed from the water for 1-4 hours between 6:00 and 10:00 AM. Timed observations are made by trained volunteers from shoreline or boats making transects to sample each water body. Observers record only the first observation of each specific individual, and make note of transient individuals without counting them. Observers record the time, location, and direction of movement of each counted individual or group of individuals. The resulting tallies for each water body by life stage - adult, sub-adult, and chick - comprise the output of LoonWatch surveys.

Study Extent LoonWatch is an annual census of breeding Common Loons that inhabit water bodies in the state of Vermont during breeding season.
Quality Control The Vermont Loon Recovery Project biologist reviews the data each year.

Method step description:

  1. LoonWatch surveys are conducted using a standardized survey format, and are recorded on paper or entered into Vermont eBird. LoonWatch is a dedicated project on Vemont eBird, where a specific survey type was added - LoonWatch - to facilitate the recording of Common Loon survey observations. LoonWatch survey results are sent to project biologists who record those data for each water body surveyed with counts for each Common Loon life stage - adult, sub-adult, and chick. Surveys finding zero Common Loon inhabitants on a water body during a survey are recorded as absent. LoonWatch survey data are tallied and retained in spreadsheets by year, and those spreadsheets provide the source data for this resource.

Additional Metadata