Iowa DNR trumpeter swan program a success, will be phased out

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The Iowa DNR will phase out an 18-year-old program credited with rejuvenating the state’s trumpeter swan population to near self-sustaining levels.

The Associated Press reports:

The program is being turned over to the private sector, agency spokesman Kevin Baskins said.

“It’s been successful enough in establishing the swans,” said Baskins, noting the DNR will continue to provide expertise and guidance, but the private sector will “be the backbone of the program.”

Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa but by the early 1930s just 69 trumpeter swans remained in the continental United States. The swans are the largest waterfowl in North America and can weigh up to 32 pounds with a wingspan of 8 feet.

The restoration program in Iowa began in 1993, with the first wild nest in 1998….

In 2010, 42 wild pairs of trumpeter swans were found nesting in Iowa. Experts estimate the state needs about 50 wild nests to ensure a self-sustaining population.

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