Swan Release

Employees squatting along the edge of a lake and releasing trumpeter swans
Wildlife biologists release trumpeter swans onto Swan Lake.

Did you know Yellowstone releases trumpeter swan cygnets into the wild? In 1919, when swans were first documented in the park, they were considered the last population in the lower 48. By 2010, only seven swans were resident in Yellowstone. Employees like Doug Smith are trying to prevent their extirpation in the short term in two ways: 1) incubating eggs in captivity and releasing day-old cygnets near wild adults, and 2) raising cygnets to 100 days old and relocating them to areas with known breeding pairs.

"After seven years of helping nesting pairs and releasing young cygnets, we finally have two new nesting pairs of trumpeter swans in Yellowstone. One of them is highly visible to the public at appropriately named 'Swan Lake,' where swans have not nested since 1966!" - Senior Wildlife Biologist Doug Smith

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Last updated: September 24, 2020

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