Cygnus buccinator - Richardson, 1831
Trumpeter Swan
Other English Common Names: trumpeter swan
Synonym(s): Olor buccinator
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cygnus buccinator Richardson, 1831 (TSN 174992)
French Common Names: cygne trompette
Spanish Common Names: Cisne Trompetero
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105446
Element Code: ABNJB02030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Waterfowl
Image 10695

© Dick Cannings

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae Cygnus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cygnus buccinator
Taxonomic Comments: C. cygnus and C. buccinator have been considered conspecific by some authors (AOU 1983). See Meng et al. (1990) for information on variability of DNA fingerprints in C. cygnus, C. olor, and C. columbianus.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 20Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Although Pacific Coast population is increasing, the Rocky Mountain population has moderately increased, and the Interior population of midwestern, northern, and Canada subpopulations have expanded, serious threats to winter habitat availability and quality are present for all three major populations. The Pacific Coast population continues to lose wintering habitat in Washington and British Columbia. Some areas of Alaska breeding habitat are open to development; no overall swan management plan has been enacted for the state. Serious potential for disease outbreaks on reduced winter ranges exist. Species is sensitive to disturbance and pollution.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4B,N4N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (26Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (S4B,S3N), Arizona (S1N), Arkansas (S1N), Colorado (SNA), Idaho (S1B,S4N), Illinois (SXB,S2N), Iowa (S2B), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SXN), Louisiana (SX), Maryland (SXN), Michigan (S3), Minnesota (S2B,SNRN,SNRM), Missouri (S1), Montana (S3), Nebraska (S2), Nevada (S1B), New York (S1B), North Dakota (SX), Oklahoma (SH), Oregon (S1?B,S3N), South Dakota (S3B,S3N), Utah (S1N), Virginia (S1N), Washington (S3N), Wisconsin (S4B), Wyoming (S3B,S3N)
Canada Alberta (S2S3B), British Columbia (S4B,S5N), Manitoba (S2B), Northwest Territories (S4B), Ontario (S4), Saskatchewan (S3B), Yukon Territory (S4B,S3M)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Not at Risk (01Apr1996)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: North American population now close to 20,000 birds and continuing to increase.

Status history: Designated Special Concern in April 1978. Status re-examined and designated Not at Risk in April 1996.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: Formerly throughout North America from central Alaska to western Hudson Bay (James Bay), southeast to Nova Scotia, with the southern limit extending to northwest Mississippi and eastern Arkansas in the east and possibly California in the west. Present breeding range includes Alaska (Interior, Southcentral, Gulf of Alaska, and Chilkat basin), Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Saskatchewan, and Ontario (Mitchell 1994). Alaska contains over 85% of the world's breeding population, and breeding areas outside of Alaska are very localized (Mitchell 1994).

NONBREEDING: Formerly from the present range in southeast Alaska (a few small flocks along the Gulf of Alaska), along the British Columbia coast, Washington, Oregon, and occasionally California but historically extending to southern California, possibly Arizona and New Mexico, along Gulf Coast to central Florida, and along Alantic coast as far as ice free waters existed (Mitchell 1994). Present range includes the Gulf of Alaska coast, southeast Alaska, British Columbia, western Washington, western Oregon, occasionally California, eeastern Nevada, western Utah, southern Montana, eastern Idaho, northwestern Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, and small resident populations in the midwestern states, Saskatchewan, and Ontario (Mitchell 1994). In the contiguous United States and adjacent Canada, the highest winter densities occur in western Wyoming, western British Columbia (coast and interior lakes), southeastern Oregon, and southwestern Montana, mainly on wildlife refuges (Root 1988).

Interior population (resulting from transplants and captive propagation) consists of flocks in Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota, and Hennepin County Park Reserve District, Minnesota; these gradually are exhibiting southward movement in fall but still are dependent on supplemental feeding.

Rocky Mountain population nests in the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) and winters primarily in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Spahr et al. 1991). Breeding areas in Canada include Peace River area of Alberta and British Columbia and Toobally Lakes area of Yukon, plus some areas farther north in Northwest Territories (Johnson and Herter 1989). U.S. flocks of the Rocky Mountain population currently summer in three locations (1) the Tri-state Area of eastern Idaho, southwestern Montana, and western Wyoming, (2) the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and (3) Malheur NWR and Summer Lake area of Oregon. Trumpeter swans at Ruby Lake and Malheur NWRs were derived primarily from swans that were transplanted from Red Rock Lakes NWR, beginning in 1941 (Pacific Flyway Study Committee 2002).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are three regional populations (Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Interior) recognized by the USFWS (Mitchell 1994). An unknown number of breeding areas exist within the range of these populations (estimated at between 20 and 50 in all regions). Occurences have been searched for extensively, continent-wide survey was conducted in 1990 (Mitchell 1994).

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: In 2000, the total North American population was about 24,000 birds (USFWS 2003).

The 1995 Canadian subpopulation of the Rocky Mountain population recorded 2,076 swans, while the Tri-state subpopulation (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana) of the Rocky Mountain population counted 441 swans. In September 2001, the U.S. segment of the Rocky Mountain population collectively contained 416 adults, including 362 in the Tri-state Area, 23 in Oregon, and 31 in Nevada. Observers counted 417 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the U.S. Breeding Segment of the Rocky Mountain population of trumpeter swans during fall of 2004, a count identical to that from comparable areas in 2003 (USFWS 2004). Observers counted 4,584 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the Rocky Mountain population of trumpeter swans during February 2004, an increase of 15% from the 3,974 counted in February 2003 and a record-high count for the mid-winter survey (Pacific Flyway Study Committee 2004, USFWS 2004).

In the Yellowstone region, there are basically two trumpeter swan flocks: a resident year-round population and a migratory winter population. The winter population varies from 75-119 swans. In 2000, the resident population included 20 adults and 7 cygnets (National Park Service).

The 1995 Interior Population census counted 927 swans (Subcommittee on the Interior Population of Trumpeter Swans 1997).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few to some (4-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Outside of Alaska (11 USFWS defined breeding units), most occurrences likely rank "C" or less, with the exception of Rocky Mountain interior Canada subpopulation near Grande Prairie (Subcommittee on the Interior Population of Trumpeter Swans 1997).

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Pacific Coast population (Mitchell 1994) faces a serious threat of winter habitat loss to development. Rocky Mountain population faces a serious threat due to declining winter habitat, overcrowding on existing winter habitat, and potential for widespread disease introduction. Threats to Interior population may be the same winter habitat and disease threats that the Rocky Mountain population faces.

Trumpeters swans are sensitive to human disturbance (boating, float-plane use, photography, etc.) (Mitchell 1994)and pollution. They are unusually sensitive to lead poisoning due to habitat and foraging behavior. White Phosphorus from military operations has caused death at Eagle River Flats, Alaska (Mitchell 1994). Human activity near nest site may cause nest failure or cygnet loss by disturbing adults (responses by pairs varies) (Mitchell 1994). Vulnerable to illegal hunting or malicious shooting due to their conspicuousness and large size (Mitchell 1994).

Rocky Mountain population:
From 1935-1992, the trumpeters were fed grain during winter at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, 20 miles northwest of Harriman State Park, Idaho. Large sanctuaries in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and at Harriman State Park also protected the swans from human disturbance. Artificial feeding and sanctuaries saved the population from extinction but discouraged southward migration, which is essential to long-term recovery. Artificial feeding at Red Rock Lakes ceased in 1992.
In eastern Idaho, lack of dispersal southward has created a severe "bottleneck" as increasing numbers of trumpeters arrive from Canadian nesting areas to spend the winter within Harriman State Park on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in eastern Idaho. At this site, which receives the greatest amount of swan use, the aquatic plants can no longer provide enough winter food to support the increasing flocks of swans, Canada geese, and ducks (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).
In the Yellowstone region, nest flooding is the primary cause of nest failure, and coyote predation is the major cause of swan mortality in the winter.

Short-term Trend: Increase of >10%
Short-term Trend Comments: Increasing mainly in Alaska; other continent-wide expansion due to regional and local reintroduction programs (Mitchell 1994).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Great loss of historical breeding and wintering habitat, hunting (primarily market hunting) reduced contiguous U.S. population to less than 100 individuals by 1935, but undocumented populations smaller than their present levels existed in Alaska and Canada (Mitchell 1994).

In North America the species increased from less than 4,000 birds in 1968 to nearly 24,000 birds in 2000, which represents an average annual population growth of 5.9 percent. The Rocky Mountain population increased from approximately 800 birds in 1968 to more than 3,600 birds in 2000; average population growth rate was 4.8 percent per year. See USFWS (2003).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Exact routes and sites used during fall and spring migration are needed (Mitchell 1994).

Protection Needs: Protection of winter areas (winter use EOs), resting and foraging habitat is needed (particularly in Washington, British Columbia, and Oregon as well) (Mitchell 1994). Non-point source pollution needs to be eliminated from breeding and wintering wetlands used by swans. Lost, reduced, or contaminated wetlands need to be restored. Further wetland loss needs to be prevented.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: Formerly throughout North America from central Alaska to western Hudson Bay (James Bay), southeast to Nova Scotia, with the southern limit extending to northwest Mississippi and eastern Arkansas in the east and possibly California in the west. Present breeding range includes Alaska (Interior, Southcentral, Gulf of Alaska, and Chilkat basin), Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Saskatchewan, and Ontario (Mitchell 1994). Alaska contains over 85% of the world's breeding population, and breeding areas outside of Alaska are very localized (Mitchell 1994).

NONBREEDING: Formerly from the present range in southeast Alaska (a few small flocks along the Gulf of Alaska), along the British Columbia coast, Washington, Oregon, and occasionally California but historically extending to southern California, possibly Arizona and New Mexico, along Gulf Coast to central Florida, and along Alantic coast as far as ice free waters existed (Mitchell 1994). Present range includes the Gulf of Alaska coast, southeast Alaska, British Columbia, western Washington, western Oregon, occasionally California, eeastern Nevada, western Utah, southern Montana, eastern Idaho, northwestern Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, and small resident populations in the midwestern states, Saskatchewan, and Ontario (Mitchell 1994). In the contiguous United States and adjacent Canada, the highest winter densities occur in western Wyoming, western British Columbia (coast and interior lakes), southeastern Oregon, and southwestern Montana, mainly on wildlife refuges (Root 1988).

Interior population (resulting from transplants and captive propagation) consists of flocks in Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, South Dakota, and Hennepin County Park Reserve District, Minnesota; these gradually are exhibiting southward movement in fall but still are dependent on supplemental feeding.

Rocky Mountain population nests in the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) and winters primarily in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Spahr et al. 1991). Breeding areas in Canada include Peace River area of Alberta and British Columbia and Toobally Lakes area of Yukon, plus some areas farther north in Northwest Territories (Johnson and Herter 1989). U.S. flocks of the Rocky Mountain population currently summer in three locations (1) the Tri-state Area of eastern Idaho, southwestern Montana, and western Wyoming, (2) the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and (3) Malheur NWR and Summer Lake area of Oregon. Trumpeter swans at Ruby Lake and Malheur NWRs were derived primarily from swans that were transplanted from Red Rock Lakes NWR, beginning in 1941 (Pacific Flyway Study Committee 2002).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AR, AZ, CO, IA, ID, ILextirpated, KS, KYextirpated, LAextirpated, MDextirpated, MI, MN, MO, MT, NDextirpated, NE, NV, NY, OK, OR, SD, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, NT, ON, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Ada (16001), Adams (16003), Bannock (16005), Bear Lake (16007), Benewah (16009), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Boise (16015), Bonner (16017), Bonneville (16019), Boundary (16021), Butte (16023), Camas (16025), Canyon (16027), Caribou (16029), Clark (16033), Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Franklin (16041), Fremont (16043), Gem (16045), Gooding (16047), Idaho (16049), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Latah (16057), Lemhi (16059), Madison (16065), Minidoka (16067), Nez Perce (16069), Oneida (16071), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077), Teton (16081), Twin Falls (16083), Valley (16085), Washington (16087)
MI Alcona (26001), Delta (26041), Grand Traverse (26055), Iosco (26069), Lenawee (26091), Livingston (26093), Manistee (26101), Montcalm (26117), Newaygo (26123), Ogemaw (26129), Oscoda (26135), Washtenaw (26161), Wexford (26165)
MN Aitkin (27001), Anoka (27003), Becker (27005), Beltrami (27007), Brown (27015), Carlton (27017), Carver (27019), Cass (27021), Chisago (27025), Clay (27027), Clearwater (27029), Cook (27031), Cottonwood (27033), Crow Wing (27035), Dakota (27037), Faribault (27043), Freeborn (27047), Goodhue (27049), Hennepin (27053), Hubbard (27057), Isanti (27059), Itasca (27061), Jackson (27063), Kanabec (27065), Kandiyohi (27067), Kittson (27069), Koochiching (27071), Lake (27075), Lake of the Woods (27077), Le Sueur (27079), Lyon (27083), Mahnomen (27087), Marshall (27089), Mcleod (27085), Meeker (27093), Murray (27101), Nicollet (27103), Nobles (27105), Norman (27107), Otter Tail (27111), Pine (27115), Polk (27119), Ramsey (27123), Red Lake (27125), Rice (27131), Scott (27139), Sherburne (27141), Sibley (27143), St. Louis (27137), Steele (27147), Stevens (27149), Swift (27151), Todd (27153), Wabasha (27157), Wadena (27159), Waseca (27161), Washington (27163), Watonwan (27165), Wright (27171)
MO Carroll (29033), Livingston (29117)
MT Beaverhead (30001), Lake (30047), Lewis and Clark (30049), Madison (30057), Missoula (30063), Park (30067), Powell (30077)
ND Kidder (38043)*
NE Arthur (31005), Blaine (31009), Boone (31011), Boyd (31015), Brown (31017), Buffalo (31019), Burt (31021), Butler (31023), Cass (31025), Cedar (31027), Cherry (31031), Cheyenne (31033), Clay (31035), Colfax (31037), Custer (31041), Dawson (31047), Deuel (31049), Dodge (31053), Douglas (31055), Frontier (31063), Garden (31069), Garfield (31071), Gosper (31073), Grant (31075), Greeley (31077), Hall (31079), Hamilton (31081), Hitchcock (31087), Holt (31089), Hooker (31091), Howard (31093), Jefferson (31095), Keith (31101), Keya Paha (31103), Kimball (31105), Knox (31107), Lancaster (31109), Lincoln (31111), Loup (31115), McPherson (31117), Merrick (31121), Morrill (31123), Nance (31125), Phelps (31137), Platte (31141), Polk (31143), Red Willow (31145), Rock (31149), Sarpy (31153), Saunders (31155), Scotts Bluff (31157), Sheridan (31161), Sherman (31163), Thomas (31171), Valley (31175), Washington (31177), Wheeler (31183), York (31185)
NV Elko (32007), White Pine (32033)
NY Cayuga (36011), Jefferson (36045), Oswego (36075), Seneca (36099), Wayne (36117)
OR Harney (41025)
SD Bennett (46007), Meade (46093), Mellette (46095), Perkins (46105), Todd (46121), Tripp (46123)
UT Box Elder (49003)*, Davis (49011)*, Millard (49027)*, Rich (49033)*, Salt Lake (49035)*, Tooele (49045)*, Weber (49057)*
WA Chelan (53007), Clallam (53009), Grays Harbor (53027), Jefferson (53031), King (53033), Lewis (53041), Okanogan (53047), Pacific (53049), Skagit (53057), Snohomish (53061), Whatcom (53073)
WY Albany (56001), Big Horn (56003), Campbell (56005), Carbon (56007), Converse (56009), Crook (56011), Fremont (56013), Goshen (56015), Hot Springs (56017), Johnson (56019), Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025), Niobrara (56027), Park (56029), Platte (56031), Sheridan (56033), Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041), Washakie (56043), Weston (56045)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Baptism-Brule (04010101)+, St. Louis (04010201)+, Cloquet (04010202)+, Tacoosh-Whitefish (04030111)+, Lower Grand (04050006)+, Muskegon (04060102)+, Manistee (04060103)+, Betsie-Platte (04060104)+, Boardman-Charlevoix (04060105)+, Au Sable (04070007)+, Huron (04090005)+, Raisin (04100002)+, Seneca (04140201)+, Oneida (04140202)+, Chaumont-Perch (04150102)+
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101)+, Leech Lake (07010102)+, Prairie-Willow (07010103)+, Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Pine (07010105)+, Crow Wing (07010106)+, Redeye (07010107)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+, Crow (07010204)+, South Fork Crow (07010205)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Rum (07010207)+, Pomme De Terre (07020002)+, Hawk-Yellow Medicine (07020004)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Redwood (07020006)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Cottonwood (07020008)+, Blue Earth (07020009)+, Watonwan (07020010)+, Le Sueur (07020011)+, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Snake (07030004)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+, Upper Cedar (07080201)+, Des Moines Headwaters (07100001)+
09 Otter Tail (09020103)+, Buffalo (09020106)+, Elm-Marsh (09020107)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+, Sandhill-Wilson (09020301)+, Red Lakes (09020302)+, Thief (09020304)+, Clearwater (09020305)+, Lower Red (09020311)+, Two Rivers (09020312)+, Roseau (09020314)+, Rainy Headwaters (09030001)+, Vermilion (09030002)+, Rainy Lake (09030003)+, Little Fork (09030005)+, Big Fork (09030006)+, Rapid (09030007)+, Lower Rainy (09030008)+, Lake of the Woods (09030009)+
10 Red Rock (10020001)+, Madison (10020007)+, Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102)+, Sun (10030104)+, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Upper Yellowstone (10070002)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Little Wind (10080002)+, Popo Agie (10080003)+, Lower Wind (10080005)+, Badwater (10080006)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+, Nowood (10080008)+, Greybull (10080009)+, Big Horn Lake (10080010)+, Dry (10080011)+, North Fork Shoshone (10080012)+, South Fork Shoshone (10080013)+, Shoshone (10080014)+, Little Bighorn (10080016)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+, Little Powder (10090208)+, Upper Little Missouri (10110201)+, Upper Cheyenne (10120103)+, Lance (10120104)+, Lightning (10120105)+, Beaver (10120107)+, Lower Cheyenne (10120112)+, Cherry (10120113)+, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+, Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Apple (10130103)+*, Grand (10130303)+, Upper Moreau (10130305)+, Middle White (10140202)+, Little White (10140203)+, Lower White (10140204)+, Ponca (10150001)+, Upper Niobrara (10150003)+, Middle Niobrara (10150004)+, Snake (10150005)+, Keya Paha (10150006)+, Lower Niobrara (10150007)+, Lewis and Clark Lake (10170101)+, Upper North Platte (10180002)+, Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs (10180003)+, Medicine Bow (10180004)+, Little Medicine Bow (10180005)+, Sweetwater (10180006)+, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+, Glendo Reservoir (10180008)+, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Lower Laramie (10180011)+, Horse (10180012)+, Lower North Platte (10180014)+, Upper Lodgepole (10190015)+, Lower Lodgepole (10190016)+, Lower South Platte (10190018)+, Middle Platte-Buffalo (10200101)+, Wood (10200102)+, Middle Platte-Prairie (10200103)+, Lower Platte-Shell (10200201)+, Lower Platte (10200202)+, Salt (10200203)+, Upper Middle Loup (10210001)+, Dismal (10210002)+, Lower Middle Loup (10210003)+, South Loup (10210004)+, Upper North Loup (10210006)+, Lower North Loup (10210007)+, Calamus (10210008)+, Loup (10210009)+, Cedar (10210010)+, Upper Elkhorn (10220001)+, Lower Elkhorn (10220003)+, Blackbird-Soldier (10230001)+, Little Sioux (10230003)+, Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+, Upper Republican (10250004)+, Red Willow (10250007)+, Upper Big Blue (10270201)+, Middle Big Blue (10270202)+, West Fork Big Blue (10270203)+, Upper Little Blue (10270206)+, Upper Grand (10280101)+
14 Upper Green (14040101)+, New Fork (14040102)+, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Big Sandy (14040104)+, Bitter (14040105)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Muddy (14040108)+, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+, Muddy (14050004)+
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+, Central Bear (16010102)+, Bear Lake (16010201)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Lower Bear-Malad (16010204)+, Lower Weber (16020102)+*, Jordan (16020204)+*, Rush-Tooele Valleys (16020304)+*, Skull Valley (16020305)+*, Northern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020308)+*, Curlew Valley (16020309)+*, Great Salt Lake (16020310)+*, Lower Beaver (16030008)+*, Little Smoky-Newark Valleys (16060006)+, Long-Ruby Valleys (16060007)+
17 Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Blackfoot (17010203)+, Lower Flathead (17010212)+, Lower Clark Fork (17010213)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Priest (17010215)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, St. Joe (17010304)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Methow (17020008)+, Wenatchee (17020011)+, Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Gros Ventre (17040102)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Palisades (17040104)+, Salt (17040105)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, Willow (17040205)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Salmon Falls (17040213)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Boise-Mores (17050112)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Middle Snake-Payette (17050115)+, Payette (17050122)+, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lemhi (17060204)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+, Clearwater (17060306)+, Queets-Quinault (17100102)+, Upper Chehalis (17100103)+, Lower Chehalis (17100104)+, Grays Harbor (17100105)+, Willapa Bay (17100106)+, Fraser (17110001)+, Strait of Georgia (17110002)+, Nooksack (17110004)+, Upper Skagit (17110005)+, Lower Skagit (17110007)+, Stillaguamish (17110008)+, Snoqualmie (17110010)+, Snohomish (17110011)+, Lake Washington (17110012)+, Hood Canal (17110018)+, Puget Sound (17110019)+, Dungeness-Elwha (17110020)+, Harney-Malheur Lakes (17120001)+*, Silvies (17120002)+*, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+, Silver (17120004)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large swan native to North America.
Reproduction Comments: Nesting begins in late April or early May in the intermountain western U.S. Clutch size is 2-9 (usually about 5). Incubation, mainly by female, lasts 33-37 days (Harrison 1978). Hatching occurs in latter half of June in southern Alaska, June in the intermountain Western U.S. Nestlings are precocial but remain with adults until subsequent spring. Fledging occurs at 100-120 days. Young remain with parents through winter; siblings may stay together for a few years, may rejoin parents after the nesting period. First nests at 4-5 years (may form pair bonds earlier). Life-long pair bond. Rarely more than one pair nests on a single body of water.
Ecology Comments: In summer, nonbreeding flocks of 20-100 individuals may occur on large lakes and reservoirs. Defends breeding territory of about 5-10 acres.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Wyoming-Montana-Idaho breeders nonmigratory; interior breeders in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, and Northwest Territories migrate. Arrives in northern nesting areas in early May, departs northern latitudes by late September or early October. Uses traditional migration routes.

Yellowstone population consists of a resident year-round population and a migratory winter population. Migrants that visit Yellowstone in the winter are a combination of swans from the Yellowstone/Greater Yellowstone area and swans from Canada (primarily Grande Prairie, Alberta).

Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, Tidal flat/shore
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Habitat Comments: Ponds, lakes, and marshes, breeding in areas of reeds, sedges or similar emergent vegetation, primarily on freshwater, occasionally in brackish situations, wintering on open ponds, lakes and sheltered bays and estuaries (AOU 1983). In the intermountain western U.S., winters in areas of geothermal activity, springs, and dam outflows (Spahr et al. 1991). Primarily breeds in freshwater, on edges of large inland waters; typically in emergent marsh vegetation, or on a muskrat house, beaver lodge, or island. The nest is a large mass of plant material. Uses same nesting sites in successive years.

See Pacific Flyway Study Committe (2004) for a summary of nesting, migration, and winter habitat requirements for the Rocky Mountain population.

Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Adults feed mostly on aquatic vegetation; young first eat aquatic insects and crustaceans but in 5 weeks begin feeding on aquatic plants. Also may graze in fields (McKelvey and Verbeek 1988). Prefers shallow, slow-moving water for feeding.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Staging and breeding individuals may be active day and night (Henson and Cooper 1994).
Length: 152 centimeters
Weight: 11900 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Management Requirements: North American Trumpeter Swan Management Plan has been prepared (USFWS and Canadian Wildlife Service 1986). Henson and Grant (1991) recommended the following management guidelines for nesting areas that receive heavy use by humans: restrict sources of loud noises (e.g., airboats) during breeding season; discourage (e.g., through posting) human activity (such as cars stopping and passengers getting out to view swans nesting along roads); if wildlife viewing areas are desired, such sites should be more than 300 m from a nest and should be designed to minimize noise and visibility of observers.

Current/recent management includes ensuring adequate river flows, protecting and restoring nesting and winter habitat, restoring southward migration pathways to suitable wintering areas, and transplanting of swans to suitable winter habitat along the Snake River in southern Idaho (Spahr et al. 1991).

Rocky Mountain Population:

USFWS (http://www.r6.fws.gov/redrocks/rrl3.htm) reported the following information:
Since 1988, over 1,300 trumpeter swans have been captured at Harriman State Park and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and transplanted to new habitats in Oregon, southern Idaho, and Wyoming. Several were also moved to Utah.
Transplanted swans were neck collared and dyed, and closely monitored through a network of observers.
The disturbance from trapping and occasional planned disturbance has reduced the number of swans at high risk sites in the vicinity of Harriman State Park. Reduced swan use at Harriman has allowed some increase of aquatic plants which has improved habitat for both fish and waterfowl.
Transplanted swans have been sighted in all western states and are slowly increasing use of other wintering sites as far west as Oregon and California. Serious problems remain in eastern Idaho, however, as wintering swans continue to increase.
Up through 1995, biologists attempted to establish trumpeter swan migrations that would avoid tundra swan hunting areas. This was done to minimize the potential for a legal tundra swan hunter to accidentally harvest a trumpeter.
Beginning in 1994, tundra swan hunting regulations in Utah, Nevada, and Montana were changed to reduce the potential harvest of trumpeters, and to protect legal tundra swan hunters from legal action should they accidentally harvest a trumpeter. These changes enabled biologists to transplant trumpeters into areas where they have a greater potential to follow migrating tundra swans to southern wintering areas where food resources are plentiful.
Unless the present "bottleneck" can be opened, trumpeters from across western Canada will continue to end their southward migration in the tri-state area. They must either be persuaded to migrate through this region and continue south or they will exceed the carrying capacity of winter habitat and die there. The tri-state's local nesting swans, forced to share marginal sites with the growing Canadian flocks, will also be at risk.
Management options are limited. Substantial mortality is likely unavoidable; the problem has developed over decades and will not be easily solved. Additional transplants may help create use of other wintering areas but cannot possibly remove enough swans from eastern Idaho. Artificial feeding can no longer meet the needs of the increasing flocks. Feeding would concentrate swans as well as ducks and geese, creating a high risk of disease and discouraging any migration.
A well-organized program to systematically haze trumpeters offers another option to increase the number of birds that continue southward, but success is by no means a certainty. Fall hazing efforts will be increased; various techniques will be tried, and results will be closely monitored. Best results are likely if hazing occurs during the peak migration while the swans are still in good condition. To keep swans moving, hazing must be frequent and consistent over a broad area.
Regardless of hazing intensity and translocation efforts, some swans will likely remain in eastern Idaho and face harsh winters and limited food supplies. Our goal is to disperse as many swans as possible from the area.
Long-term population security will depend upon the survival of trumpeters in a wide variety of wintering sites. Currently, the Pacific Flyway Council is emphasizing monitoring over translocation in order to better understand the migration corridors used by the Rocky Mountain trumpeter swans.

Monitoring Requirements: For large populations, such as in Alaska, a minimal estimate of nesting pairs can be obtained from late summer surveys of pairs with broods. For smaller breeding groups, most management agencies track the number of nesting pairs based on May/June surveys (note that simply using number of "pairs" observed in spring is not an accurate assessment of the breeding population because non breeding subadults frequently occur in groups of two and superficially appear to be "breeding pairs"). Because trumpeter swans are long lived (15+ years) adult/subadult numbers may remain relatively stable even after population begins to experience production problems. Tracking nesting pair numbers provides an earlier indication of potential problems. State/provincial/federal emphasis is shifting away from winter monitoring as trumpeter swans expand their winter distribution and increasingly intermingle with tundra swans. Emphasis is now on monitoring late summer swan numbers, and that effort should at least remain constant and may increase in some areas. It is realistic to expect that agencies will document total summer adults/subadults (white birds), pairs with cygnets, and total cygnets for all breeding groups at intervals that will range from annually (some lower 48 flocks) to every five years (Alaska and western Canada). Actual location and number of nesting pairs will also be monitored for many of the smaller lower 48 flocks. Counts of total adults/subadults (obtained from late summer aerial surveys of breeding areas) includes all swans with white plumage (age classes yearling and older) including breeding pairs, mature non breeders (greater than 4 years old) and subadult nonbreeders (age classes yearling 3 years old). Reasons for this are that breeders and non-breeders are not separable definitively from the air, hence tracking combined adult/subadult numbers provides best available measure of population trend. Cygnets (young of the year) are not included because annual production is highly variable and first winter survival can be low (less than 50%). White bird totals include subadults and therefore provide a better indication of recruitment of young into the population.
Biological Research Needs: There are three research needs at present (Mitchell 1994):

1. Determine gene flow among subpopulations.

2. Obtain information on nutritional requirements of various age and sex classes, including the differences in foraging ecology and nutritional needs between migratory and sedentary poulations.

3. Investigate differences in foraging ecology and nutritional needs of swans foraging on agricultural crops versus aquatic vegetation on their wintering ares.

Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Swans and Geese

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Nest Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Map Foraging Areas in separate polygons from the nest site if they are separated from the nest by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas and foraging areas used during the nesting season, but the separation distance is based on nesting-area polygons. Thus different occurrences may overlap if birds from different nesting areas travel to the same foraging area during the nesting season. The separation distance is arbitrary but is intended to yield occurrences that are not impracticably large for conservation purposes.

Canada Geese usually forage near nest site, but adults will forage up to 8 kilometers away (Williams and Sooter 1941, Hammond and Mann 1956) and young will occasionally travel up to 16 kilometers to a foraging area as well (Palmer 1976). Mean home ranges of brood-rearing Snow Geese ranged from 6.6 to 21.7 square kilometers on Bylot Island (Hughes et al. 1994).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on the conservative, smaller mean home range for Snow Geese of 6.6 square kilometers (Hughes et al. 1994).
Date: 26Apr2004
Author: Cannings, S. and G. Hammerson
Notes: Contains all species of swans and geese, as well as whistling-ducks.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Some swans - Cygnus buccinator, in particular - have known migratory routes and staging areas. For these, evidence of past or present recurring presence of migrating or staging flocks and potential recurring presence at a given location. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season and habitat; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set to yield occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes.
Date: 07Aug2017
Author: Ormes, M.
Notes: Created at request of NE; needs review by zoologist.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging area, Roosting site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of past or present recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds, including nonbreeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season, and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 50 birds occur regularly for at least 20 days per year would be deemed EOs.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set to yield occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations. Swans and geese can travel considerable distances on a daily basis; in winter, flocks of Canada Geese foraged up to 48 km from roost in Texas (Glazener 1946).
Date: 26Apr2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Notes: Contains all species of swans and geese, as well as whistling-ducks.

Use Class: Wintering site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Overlaps with Nonbreeding LUC, but some swans - Cygnus buccinator in particular - have distinct wintering and staging areas. For these, evidence of past or present recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds, and potential recurring presence at a given location. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season and habitat; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Date: 07Aug2017
Author: Ormes, M.
Notes: Created at request of NE; needs review by zoologist.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Jan2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Wilbor, S., and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 31Jan2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Subcommittee on the Interior Population of Trumpeter Swans. 1997. Mississippi and Central flyway management plan for the Interior population of Trumpeter Swan. Mississippi and Central Flyway Councils. [c/o USFWS, Migratory Bird Coordinator] Twin Cities, MN. Unpubl. rept.

  • Subcommittee on the Interior Population of Trumpeter Swans. 1997. Mississippi and Central flyway management plan for the Interior population of Trumpeter Swan. Mississippi and Central Flyway Councils. [c/o USFWS, Migratory Bird Coordinator] Twin Cities, MN. Unpubl. rept.

  • THOMPSON,M.C., AND C. ELY.1989. BIRDS IN KANSAS VOLUME ONE.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Travsky, A. and G.P. Beauvais. 2004. Species assessment for the Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) in Wyoming. Report prepared for USDI Wyoming Bureau of Land Management by Real West Natural Resource Consulting and Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, Wyoming.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1987. Migratory nongame birds of management concern in the United States: the 1987 list. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Migratory Bird Management, Washington, D.C. 63 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Trumpeter swan survey of the Rocky Mountain population winter 2004. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Birds and State Programs, Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Trumpeter swan survey of the Rocky Mountain population, U.S. breeding segment, fall 2004. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Birds and State Programs, Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 28 January 2003. 90-day finding for a petition to list the tri-state area flock of trumpeter swans as threatened. Federal Register 68(18):4221-4228.

  • U01OLS01MTUS is the most current, accurate source code for this reference. USFWS. 2001. Trumpeter Swan Survey of the Rocky Mountain Population, Fall 2001. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Lakeview, MT.

  • U03DUB02MTUS is the most recent accurate source code for this reference. USFWS. 2003. Trumpeter Swan Survey of the Rocky Mountain Population, Winter 2003. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Birds and State Programs Mountain-Prairie Region, Lakewood, CO.

  • Walters, R. E., and E. Sorensen (eds.). 1983. Utah bird distribution: latilong study. Publ. No. 83-10, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City. 97 pp.

  • Webster, J. D. 1968. A revision of the tufted flycatchers of the genus Mitrephanes. The Auk 85(2):287-303.

  • Wildlife Management Information System (WMIS). 2006+. Geo-referenced wildlife datasets (1900 to present) from all projects conducted by Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada.  Available at http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/programs/wildlife-research/wildlife-management-information-services

  • Wilkinson, S. 1984. The trumpeter returns. Aski 10(2): 10.

  • Williams, C. S., and C. A. Sooter. 1941. Canada Goose habitats in Utah and Oregon. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference 5:383-387.

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