MOULTONBOROUGH — Located on the grounds of the Markus Wildlife Sanctuary, The Loon Center has served as the base for state-wide scientific research, management, and educational activities of the Loon Preservation Committee for 27 years. The group recently announced an expansion of its facilities.

The Spreading our Wings Campaign for the Future is seeking $2 million in gifts, and the organization is already within $250,000 of this target. LPC’s work has expanded over several decades, and the organization has more than doubled its year-round staff. “Every nook and cranny of The Loon Center is filled with field and office equipment, staff, and biological samples. The board and staff recognized that our facilities had become a major factor limiting our continued work, and that they needed to grow as the rest of our program has grown,” said Harry Vogel, senior biologist and executive director.

The loon population has more than tripled since The Loon Center was built in 1993, in part due to LPC’s monitoring, management, and educational efforts. Loons remain a threatened species, however, so LPC is monitoring many more lakes and ponds. LPC staff and volunteers have responded with an increase in loon nesting raft maintenance, nest site protection, exhibits and presentations, statewide efforts to reduce loon deaths from exposure to lead fishing tackle, and prompt rescues of injured or sick loons. LPC staff analyze inviable eggs, eggshell fragments, and deceased loons for contaminants and to determine causes of nest failures and loon mortalities.

The capital campaign will allow an expansion of The Loon Center to provide additional work and laboratory space for biologists, new workspaces for staff and volunteers, library and conference space, and dedicated storage for biological specimens and supplies. A new, adjacent field operations center will include housing for field biologists and veterinary interns, workspace for construction of nesting rafts and signs, and maintenance and storage of boats, trailers, and field equipment.

To learn more, call 603-476-5666 or visit www.loon.org.

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