MLMP - Results for the Itasca Index Area 1994-2002

Map of Itasca Index Area

The Itasca Index Area is located in the North-Central part of Minnesota, and has had 92 to 108 lakes surveyed per year between 1994 and 2002. Statistical analysis is ongoing, and has been completed through 2001.

In Summary:

  • Loon abundance in the Itasca Index Area ranged from 3.3 - 4.0 adult loons per 100 acres of lake between 1994-2001 (Fig. 1), the highest of the 6 index areas.
  • There are no statistically significant changes in occupancy within the six index areas. Occupancy (likelihood of seeing a loon on a lake) was calculated as 76% - 85% in the Itasca Index Area (Fig. 2), roughly the highest amongst the Index areas.
  • Reproductive success was calculated as 0.32 - 0.52 juveniles per 2 adult loons in the Itasca Index Area (Fig. 3).
  • During the study period, the Kandiyohi and Otter Tail index areas were the only Index Areas to exhibit statistically significant increases in goose abundance. Although geese were observed in the Itasca Index Area between 1994-2001, they were not in significant numbers on the lakes in this study (Fig. 4).
Graph of Loon Abundance
Figure 1. LOON ABUNDANCE - Adult loons seen per 100 acres of lake surface within the Itasca Index Area.
Graph of Loon Occupancy
Figure 2. LOON OCCUPANCY - Percent of lakes in the Itasca Index Area with any adult loons.
Graph of Loon Reproductive Success
Figure 3. LOON REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS - Juvenile loons for every two adult loons on a lake within the Itasca Index Area.
Graph of Goose Abundance
Figure 4. GOOSE ABUNDANCE - Adult geese seen per 100 acres of lake surface within the Itasca Index Area.


Table 1. Total number of loons, juvenile loons, geese, and juvenile geese observed in 1994 - 2002 in the Itasca Index Area
YearTotal Adult LoonsTotal Juvenile LoonsLakes with Adult LoonsLakes with Juvenile LoonsTotal Adult Canada GeeseTotal Juvenile Canada GeeseTotal # of Lakes Surveyed


We extend our heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of volunteer observers who continue to make the MLMP a success. Without your persistence and hard work, the DNR would be without a means of reporting on the health of our state bird. We and Minnesota's loons appreciate your commitment!

We acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Douglas Hawkins, University of Minnesota, for statistical analysis, and Eric Hanson for the initial design and implementation of the MLMP.

Contact Information for the Itasca Index Area

Maya Hamady, Cook/Lake Index Area Coordinator
Minnesota DNR, Nongame Wildlife Program
1201 East Hwy 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: 218/327-4267
E-mail: [email protected]