ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A major study is under way into the potential impacts of the gulf oil spill on Minnesota’s loons and pelicans.

Biologists are particularly concerned about loons because most loons hatched in Minnesota in 2008 and 2009 would have been present in the Gulf of Mexico during the disaster last summer.

Subadult common loons don’t return to Minnesota until the spring of their third year, and they typically don’t start breeding until they are five years old. Subadult white pelicans spend a year in the gulf before returning to Minnesota, so pelicans hatched in 2009 also would have been there.

Minnesota has an estimated 12,000 common loons and 16,000 pairs of white pelicans. The state is spending close to $300,000 in lottery and conservation license plate proceeds on the study.

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Comments (7)
  1. Matt says:

    What are we going to get out of this study to justify wasting $300,000? Are we going to learn if a couple of loons died? What are we going to do with that information? What a joke, this gross neglect of going after was actually matters is the definition of what’s wrong with government.

    1. Kessler says:

      I could not agree more!!!
      What a waste of $300,000.

  2. In debt? Spend your way to wealth. says:

    For those of you who wonder how MN can get into a $5 billion debt crisis – look no further. Spending $300K to study the effect of oil on loons is, well, looney!

    What a waste of money. Who makes these insane decisions???

  3. Maggie Gray says:

    It’s amazing to me those whose lives were not immediately impacted by the devastation wreaked on habitat, wildlife, job revenue, employment, tourism and more are always the first to criticize. I held a wildlife art benefit last October at Fifth Street Towers in Minneapolis, specifically, raising monies to be donated to Minnesota DNR for this research, National and Minnesota Audubon and TriState Bird Rescue. What is tragic is the true waste is NOT the research nor the efforts to conserve, revitalize and rehabilitate devastated regions and wildilfe, but the true ignorance and apathy this oil spill hundreds of miles away seems to promote through lack of information. Consider the millions of gallons of oil here on our land, our shores, in our waterways, our lakes, our streams, our property…THEN….only THEN will you realize the impact. Ever seen a bird drown in oil? Have you asked the fishermen in the Gulf region HOW they are making a living now? Insanity is the lies wrought on the public through coverup, NOT the use of monies raised or donated to try to fix what greed caused.

    1. Different point of view. says:

      No one is saying the oil spill wasn’t disastrous in more ways than most of us will ever realize.

      However, do you think it’s really necessary to spend $300K in order to be able to say oil spills aren’t a good thing for loons? I think we can conclude that without spending any money at all.

      I’m not disagreeing with your other points, but I am saying I think there are much better ways that $300K could have been spent.

    2. Bearly a reason says:

      How much did you raise? – I hope it was the entire 300K because I have absolutely no interest in knowing the effect of oil on a bird. I don’t expect you to support any of my interests and I sholdn’t be forced to support yours.

  4. xxx says:

    I have to totally agree with the other posts about the waste in spending the $300K on this study.
    1. There was a gulf oil spill.
    2. Wild animals were involved and some or many died.
    3. Some of those wild animals /birds will have died and will not be back in MN to breed or live.

    What can be done now?

    Why spend the money.