Wildlife interest groups and agencies in Wyoming and Idaho are working to increase the populations of trumpeter swans in the region. Loss of habitat has limited numbers within the species. The Teton Regional Land Trust is working with the Wyoming Wetland Society, local offices of US Fish and Wildlife Services, and the Idaho Fish and Game departments to build a nesting colony in Teton valley.
Emily Nichols, outreach coordinator for the Teton Regional Land Trust, says increasing trumpeter swan numbers in the Greater Yellowstone region is important for environmental reasons as well as for local tourism.
“Well, I think that trumpeter swans are one of the regions’ most iconic birds, just this beautiful, charismatic animal that I think a lot of people relate to and see as a symbol of the west and of this region,” says Nichols.
As part of the project, five young swans will be released in late August into a protected wetland in a conservation easement in Teton Valley. They will be joined by a “foster mother” swan, and the project coordinators hope that the swans will return to the wetland after the next year’s migration.