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July 1, 2014

Loon chicks hatching on NH lakes; boaters cautioned

MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) — Loon chicks are hatching on New Hampshire's lakes, and biologists are asking that people heading to the water for the July 4th weekend leave the endangered birds alone.

Biologists are asking people to stay at least 150 feet away from adults loons and their chicks. They say boat collisions are the greatest human-related cause of chick mortality and the third highest cause of adult loon mortality, following lead poisoning or injury from fishing tackle.

Last year, the Loon Preservation Committee recorded 157 loon chicks hatched, but nearly a quarter of them did not survive.

The annual Loon Census will take place on Saturday, July 19, which gives the commission a "snapshot" on loon productivity throughout the state and helps it discover new territories.

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