Duck Mountain Provincial Park Takes An Interest in Madge Lake's Loon Population

Rob Wilson

Duck Mountain Provincial Park has taken a number of positive steps to ensure that the Common Loons continue to hatch chicks on Madge Lake.  The park has agreed to work in a partnership with the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association (YFBTA) an organization which is wondering if increasing human activity on Madge Lake is having a negative impact on the number of juvenile loons that survive the summer.  YFBTA’s interest is to take action to increase awareness of loons on Madge Lake in the belief that once the public is informed they will voluntarily adopt attitudes and behaviours that make Madge Lake a “loon friendly” lake.  The park administration obviously agrees. 

The park assisted YFBTA with its awareness objectives by including a paragraph about loons in their annual newsletter sent to Madge Lake’s cottage owner’s.  The park interpretive staff presented a program “Loons and You” on August 12 providing information to cottage owners and campers.  As a result of several meetings held during the winter months, informational signs pertaining to loons were obtained and installed within the park during the summer of 2006. 

Madge Lake Provincial Park, the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association, Nature Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Environment intend to continue to meet throughout 2006 and into 2007 in an effort to formalize a partnership agreement.  YFBTA intends to invite the Madge Lake Cottage Owners’ Association to join this partnership. 

The loon and its haunting calls remain a powerful symbol of the wildnerness and of solitude.  People in the regions surrounding Madge Lake are fortunate to be able to access a lake which supports birds which nest in the boreal forest ecosystem.  Duck Mountain Provincial Park represents one of the southernmost extensions  of the boreal forest.  Most stakeholders who enjoy Madge Lake want to see the presence of nesting loons continue in perpetuity.  

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