Photograph by Margaret Smith

TTSS supported Swan Research Projects

Our North American Swan Fund supports swan research

Over the years, many of our members have donated to our North American Swan Fund. You can too!

The Fund was set up to fund research, education, and habitat protection and improvement for the benefit of Trumpeter Swans.

It has been used for many projects since it began.

Recently it was used to help fund the 2015 North American Trumpeter Swan Survey, specifically for Minnesota's survey.

It was also recently used for habitat protection projects in Washington and Idaho.

Your donation to the North American Swan Fund ensures that worthwhile projects such as these can continue to be funded. It also supports valuable research projects, including our current partnership funding of the projects below.



Iowa "Track a Trumpeter" Project

The Trumpeter Swan Society's North American Swan Fund is used to fund swan research, protect and improve swan habitat, and for education about Trumpeter Swans

Photograph by Margaret Smith.
This Iowa cygnet returns to its family after receiving the gray GPS collar which will transmit data locations for up to three years.

The Iowa "Track a Trumpeter Project" is a partnership between TTSS, Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Friends of Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge, the Blank Park Zoo, and private individuals.

In September 2017, nine Iowa cygnets from different swan families received lightweight, solar and battery power GPS collars.  The collars collect hourly readings that can be downloaded twice a day, depending on cell phone coverage.  In early 2018, Iowa State University ornithology students began tracking and analyzing data locations of this three year project.

The research is collecting data about summering and wintering areas, roosting sites, feeding patterns, migrations, and possibly differences in movements between female and male swans.

The collars will also track swan deaths. By mid-2018, two of the cygnets died after striking powerlines.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates that nearly three quarters of Iowa swans die before they reach age 3. The collars will help confirm mortality numbers and causes.

  • Learn more about the project, watch videos of the project, and explore the movements of the swans at the online map created by Iowa State University students.

Swan breeding success in the Nebraska Sandhills

Trumpeter Swan issues in Southeast Idaho refuges

Swan Research Project in Southeast Idaho NWR's includes Camas NWR, Gray's Lake, Bear Lake, and Red Rock Lakes

Photograph courtesy of Camas National Wildlife Refuge

Since 2017, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists have been collaring and tracking Trumpeter Swans nesting at three Idaho National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in the Southeast Idaho NWR Complex: Camas NWR in Hamer, Bear Lake NWR near Montpelier, and Grays Lake NWR near Soda Springs.

The biologists have also been tracking mortality of Trumpeter Swan cygnets and analyzing shells of hatched and unhatched Trumpeter Swan eggs. They are looking for clues as to why cygnet mortality has been unusually high there since the late 1990s, as well as why breeding adult pairs are too often returning from their winter range without their young.

Thanks to you, TTSS will be assisting the Refuges to learn more about the swan issues in the Southeast Idaho NWR Complex.

Through past and current donations to TTSS’ North American Swan Fund, we are funding the purchase of four GPS collars for one swan at each of the three Refuges, plus a swan at Red Rock Lakes NWR.  The collars are being tested for climate condition performance as well as gaining initial information about the swans’ landscape use during their annual cycle.  Swans will be collared with transmitters in summer, 2019.


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