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Researcher probing loon decline in Wisconsin expands project to Minnesota

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A researcher trying to understand what's causing a decline in Wisconsin's loon population is expanding his project into Minnesota.

Chapman University biology professor Walter Piper has found that Wisconsin's loon population has decreased by about 22% in the last 25 years.

Chicks also are smaller and young loons' survival rate is lower. Minnesota Public Radio reports that Piper has partnered with the National Loon Center to expand his research into Crow Wing County in north-central Minnesota.

Last summer Piper's team attached identification bands to about 80 loons around the Whitefish Chain of Lakes north of Brainerd.

The team plans to revisit those territories this summer to find out if the birds survived.

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