Once abundant throughout North America, Trumpeter Swans were hunted heavily for their hides and feathers from the 17th through 19th centuries. By the early 1900’s, Trumpeter Swans were thought to be extinct. In 1932, 69 Trumpeters found at Red Rock Lakes, Montana were thought to be the last remaining Trumpeter Swans in existence. Thanks to swift conservation efforts, Trumpeter populations have risen to stable numbers throughout most of their range.
Trumpeter Swans continue to face a number of threats. In Teton Valley and across the globe, many wetlands have been drained or filled, negatively impacting countless wildlife species, including Trumpeters. In addition, declining beaver populations throughout the Greater Yellowstone region have furthered wetland resource losses. Currently, the Greater Yellowstone Trumpeter Swan nesting population is struggling due to lack of habitat. Biologists are seeing fewer nesting trumpeter swan pairs in our region and even fewer successful nests.
Teton Regional Land Trust has worked with families and other conservation groups over the past 25 years to conserve over 33,000 acres in East Idaho, including 11,000 acres in Teton Valley. The successes of our wetland protection and restoration program, combined with Teton Basin’s strategic location, have created a unique opportunity to reestablish Trumpeter Swan nesting in Teton Valley, and enhance Trumpeter nesting throughout the Greater Yellowstone region.
In 2013, the Land Trust teamed up with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Wyoming Wetlands Society, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Trumpeter Swan Society, and a local family to release Trumpeter Swans onto a protected wetland in an attempt to establish a nesting population in Teton Valley.
On May 2nd, Teton Regional Land Trust and partners will be continuing this exciting endeavor by releasing 4 yearling Trumpeter Swans in Teton Valley. A big thank you to the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Community Foundation of Teton Valley, and Silverstar Communications for support of our Swan Project. We would also like to recognize the Northern Rockies Trumpeter Swan Stewards for their support and counsel.
The 2017 released Trumpeters will also be wearing green neck collars with white lettering, so please help us keep a look out! We have a Trumpeter Swan Observation Form here and encourage all to use it to keep us informed of any Trumpeter Swan sightings. Thank you for your help!