Trumpeter Swan Observations

Lauri Hanauska-Brown
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Idaho Falls Regional Office

The Department of Idaho Fish and Game is looking for collared trumpeter swans again this year. The swans of most interest have yellow collars with black lettering or green collars with white lettering. All collared swans however are important to record. Please contact me at lhanausk@idfg.idaho.gov to report collar observations and/or congregations of wintering birds in places that seems 'out of the ordinary'. If you are interested in volunteering for this project please contact me at 390-1512.

PROJECT SUMMARY

Trumpeter Swan Translocations and Observations -
Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Upper Snake Region

Winter translocation efforts to address trumpeter swan over-crowding in the Island Park area of Idaho began in 1990. The goal of dispersing the wintering population and establishing secure use of other parts of southeastern Idaho was to reduce population impacts on habitat and concern over die-offs in Island Park because of disease or starvation. Dispersal to more southerly wintering areas could also increase early spring food resources for the resident segment of the southern Idaho nesting population. Winter translocation efforts up to this time, however, have not adequately achieved the goal of dispersing the population to new wintering grounds. Trapping and translocating cygnets without accompanying adults from traditional wintering grounds had not been attempted. The winter of 2001-2002 was the first year that a multi-agency group captured and translocated cygnets from Harriman State Park (HSP). A control group of marked cygnets was released at HSP and all other captured cygnets were translocated to the Bear River and Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Release sites were deemed suitable and translocating cygnets without adults proved feasible, as most translocated cygnets remained at the sites throughout much of the winter showing no obvious signs of starvation or disease. Translocation continued until the winter of 2004-2005. The winter of 2005-2006 begins efforts to track and observe returning collared swans.