Trumpeter Swan Restoration efforts are making good progress in Yellowstone National Park.
On September 19, participants from Yellowstone National Park, the Wyoming Wetlands Society, and Ricketts Conservation Foundation released eight cygnets at Alum Creek in Hayden Valley.
It is all part of the ongoing restoration project to increase territorial pairs of swans which have undergone a decades-long decline in the park. With more than 60 birds and 17 territorial pairs in the early 1960s, to only four birds in 2009 and 2010, the swan population has declined for a variety of reasons. Scientists are collecting population data such as nest success, number of territorial pairs, and the number of cygnets produced each year. The data may help determine the reasons for the decline.
Trumpeter swan restoration efforts have bolstered the population to over 20 birds and five territorial pairs, including natural reproduction in some years.
The effort is a public-private partnership between the National Park Service, Wyoming Wetlands Society, Ricketts Conservation Foundation, and Montana State University. Joe Ricketts, founder of Ricketts Conservation Foundation, participated in the swan release.