Once abundant throughout North America, Trumpeter Swans were hunted heavily for their hides and feathers from the 17th through 19th centuries. By the early 1900s, 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 and security. 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 30 years to help conserve around 40,000 acres in East Idaho, including over 12,500 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 breeding pairs and increased summer residency in Teton Valley.
Since 2013, Teton Regional Land Trust and partners have continued this exciting endeavor by releasing a total of 39 cygnet and yearling Trumpeter Swans in Teton Valley. We look forward to continuing Trumpeter Swan releases in future years. We are excited to build off of recent successes including released swans returning to their release site and exhibiting pair-bonding behavior, and more swans spending their summers in beautiful Teton Valley.
Released Trumpeters are wearing green neck collars or leg bands 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, particularly observations of collared/banded swans and swans seen in Teton Valley during the summer. For more information or to support the project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your help!
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.