Published: 29 October 2021
Last edited: 29 October 2021

Restoration using translocation methods helps jumpstart breeding loon populations in areas within their former range, such as the Assawompset Pond Complex (APC) in southeastern Massachusetts shown above. The APC, comprised of at least 11 lakes that are suitable for breeding loons, was historically an important breeding area for loons in the state.


Great Quittacas Pond was the site of one of the last known nesting loon pairs before their statewide extirpation in the early 20th century. Although breeding loons returned to Massachusetts in 1975, their recovery is primarily limited to the north-central part of the state.   


Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Management planning
Scale of implementation

Enabling factors

Lakes and ponds in the APC and nearby areas fulfill the criteria for high quality loon breeding habitat including: clear, clean water; abundant populations of small fish for prey; and shoreline habitat with coves and islands to provide suitable nesting areas. For these reasons, we estimate that at least 20 nesting pairs could occupy the APC surrounding area lakes in around 30 years. This population would thereafter form the basis for further recovery in the southeastern part of the state.

Lessons learned

Loons can be translocated to new breeding areas.

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