Interior Population

Photograph by A Fredrickson

Central, Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways

Status

  • All native Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from this region by the early 1900s. Current flocks are the result of restoration programs that began in 1960 using Trumpeters from Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, and later eggs from Alaska.
  • In 2010, these populations contained about 9,809 Trumpeters, including 7,154 adults and 2,655 cygnets, according to data compiled by the 2010 Range-wide Survey. This is a 111% increase from the 2005 estimate. The next official range-wide survey will occur in 2015.
  • In 2010, estimated distribution was Central Flyway-573 and combined Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways-9,236. Average annual growth rate for the IP from 1968 to 2010 was 13%, while the rate from 2005 to 2010 was 16.1%.
  • The flocks in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska are all self-sustaining when it comes to breeding habitat and recruitment of young.

Issues

  • The need to restore or generate new migration routes to suitable wintering sites further south to change the winter distribution pattern. As numbers of swans continue to increase, this becomes a more serious issue.
  • Continued need to develop a consensus among the involved states on management practices for Trumpeter Swans, particularly winter feeding.
  • Need to look at flock size vs potential wintering habitat.
  • Need to continue to work with energy companies to address power line collision mortality.
  • Continue to address problems with lead poisoning caused by ingesting lead shot pellets.
  • Need to resolve potential conflicts between Trumpeter Swan restoration and Tundra Swan hunting.

TTSS' Efforts

  • Coordinating the revision and implementation of the management plan for the Interior Population.
  • Assisting in the development of the first management plan for the Atlantic Coast Population.
  • Identifying important wintering sites and habitat protection and enhancement strategies.
  • Coordinating monitoring of marked Trumpeters throughout the Midwest.
  • Providing the vision and technical expertise for the restoration of Trumpeter Swans for all Midwest and East Coast restoration projects.

Accomplishments

  • Provided technical assistance for all state and provincial restoration programs.
  • Helped prepare the current "Management Plan for the Interior Population of Trumpeter Swans" with funding from the World Wildlife Fund.
  • Coordinated a team effort with Iowa DNR, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Gorgas Science Foundation to intitate a 3-year migration experiment.
  • Prepared composite population surveys for the Interior Population.
  • Coordinated sightings of marked birds that disperse to southern states.
  • Provided public information on swan propagation, power line collision issues and prevention strategies, lead poisoning problems, and answers to diverse questions from schools and the general public.
  • Worked with state and local officials to establish and improve major swan wintering viewing location in Monticello, Minnesota.
  • Educated private landowners who have wintering or breeding Trumpeter Swans on their land.
  • Helped secure $100,000 in grants from Scott Paper Ltd. for restoration efforts in Ontario.