Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Understanding Common Loon distribution and abundance in Washington


September 2017 - December 2019


The Common Loon (Gavia immer) is a State Species of Concern in Washington. The species was once thought to be fairly common in both eastern and western Washington, but likely declined in the early decades of the 20th Century. Planning conservation efforts for the species is complicated by lack of information on the abundance and distribution of the species in Washington.

With this project, we aim to provide the State of Washington with information necessary to conduct effective, efficient, and affordable surveys for the species in the State. The project will involve 3 components: 1) understanding factors influencing site occupancy of loons in the State, based on existing State survey data as well as citizen science (eBird) data; 2) pilot testing a drone-based sampling method to determine detection probabilities as a function of effort; and 3) using information from components 1 and 2 to design a sampling strategy (including sampling methods and strata) and conduct a simulation study that will describe expected precision in occupancy estimates as a function of sampling effort and spatial coverage.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 154

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 241

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 695

Scientific Publications: 1962

Presentations: 4417



Funding Agencies

  • Cooperative Research Units
  • Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey