The Sixth International Swan Symposium

An important component of any research effort is to learn from other researchers who are working in your field. In October, Walter Wehtje represented the WWS-RCF Partnership at the 6th International Swan Symposium, held in Tartu, Estonia. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet researchers from 17 countries, ranging from Iceland to China.

What they all had in common was a mutual interest in the study and conservation of swans. There are eight species of swans in the world and researchers presented papers on five of them, Trumpeter, Tundra, Whooping, Bewick’s and Mute. Walter presented a poster on the partnership’s “Connecting the Dots” project and was pleasantly surprised to learn about Jeff Snyder’s work on Trumpeter Swans in Idaho. Jeff is a faculty member at Western Oregon University and was at the conference to present his findings on the relationship between incubation attendance and hatching success of Trumpeter Swans at Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho and changes to winter food resources for the Trumpeter Swans that winter along the Henry’s Fork River at Harriman State Park, ID. Not only was the conference rewarding but Estonia is a country with a rich history and strong commitment to conservation.

One of the conference days was dedicated to a field trip where we managed to see three species of swans and enjoy a wide range of birdlife. The 7th ISS is planned for 2022.  Perhaps we should have it near Yellowstone this time.

ISS participants enjoying a day in the field.