Floating platforms increase the reproductive success of common loons

  • Published source details Piper W.H., Meyer M.W., Klich M., Tischler K.B. & Dolsen A. (2002) Floating platforms increase the reproductive success of common loons. Biological Conservation, 104, 199-203.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for divers/loons

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for divers/loons

    A replicated, controlled trial at 52 lakes in Wisconsin, USA, in 1996-8 (Piper et al. 2002), found that common loons (great northern divers) Gavia immer had significantly higher hatching and fledging success in 26 lakes provided with nesting platforms, compared to 26 control lakes, without platforms (83% of clutches incubated until hatching date and 0.74 chicks fledged/clutch for 23 clutches on platforms vs. 49% of 41 clutches incubated and 0.56 chicks fledged/clutch for 59 clutches on natural sites). Increases were found across all lakes, irrespective of previous productivities. Rate of platform use increased each year, from 15% in 1996 to 50% in 1998 and was high across all lake qualities. Platforms were 1 m2 and made from Styrofoam blocks surrounded by logs and covered in soil and moist vegetation. They were anchored in water 0.5-5 m deep and 6-15 m from shore, inside existing territories.


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