Earlier this afternoon, the swan family at Jackson Fork Ranch was relaxing on the banks of their nesting pond. The four young birds (cygnets), are doing well and should be ready for release into Yellowstone National Park or Oregon later this year.
The primary method that the Swan Project uses for increasing the population of Trumpeter Swans in the Intermountain West is by releasing young swans in appropriate habitat. Each summer, we place paired swans in protected locations, so that they can raise a brood of cygnets for the recovery effort. For 2018, it looks like the project will have eleven cygnets that will be ready for release this fall or next spring. Of these birds, nine will be released into Yellowstone National Park and two will go to Oregon.
Currently, the Swan Project has seven breeding pairs that we use for this effort. Over the next few years, we will increase the number of captive pairs to 15. This should allow us to release more than 60 cygnets each year. At that point, our goal of repopulating our region with enough birds to form self-sustaining populations by 2027 should be attainable. Please check back here from time to time to see how we’re doing.