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The newly released male loon swims away from the research boat. By now, it's after midnight and the researchers have two more lakes to visit before sunrise. (MPR Photo/Nathaniel Minor)

Researchers study state loon population

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By Dan Gunderson

Minnesota Public Radio News

On South Turtle Lake, Minn. – How do you sneak up on a loon?

That’s the question this night as wildlife scientists slide a boat into South Turtle Lake, a few miles east of Fergus Falls.

The biologists want to know why so many of the iconic birds die of botulism poisoning on the Great Lakes every fall. They want to learn more about environmental toxins loons face on their long annual migration.

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