Outside Influences

Climate change
In the Pacific Northwest, global climate change models indicate that winter and summer temperatures in the region are likely to be warmer. Warming temperatures could have a significant effect on thermal regimes in lakes and the amount and timing of spring runoff, both of which could negatively affect fish populations that are used as a primary food source for common loons. More information on the status of global climate change can be found on the US Global Change Research Program website.

Environmental Contaminants
Common loons ingest and accumulate contaminants that are present in their prey. Lead poisoning has been documented as a mortality source for common loons, and elevated mercury exposure has been linked to low productivity. Although loons would not be exposed to these contaminants within the watershed, it is possible that they could be exposed when they winter in Puget Sound or along the outer coast, thus affecting their productivity when they nest inland, including within the municipal watershed.