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trumpeter swan
Trumpeter Swan Restoration

Prior to the settlement of Iowa, trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) nested throughout the state. However, wetland drainage and unregulated hunting of trumpeters soon brought their demise. Until 1998, the last wild nesting trumpeter swan in Iowa occurred in 1883 on the Twin Lakes Wildlife Area southwest of Belmond, Iowa in Hancock County. In 1998, three cygnets hatched from a wild nesting trumpeter pair in Dubuque County. This pair hatched 5 in 1999 and 5 again in 2000.

There's more to the story, read more regarding swan restoration on our species restoration page.


Trumpeter Swan Reporting

The success of the Trumpeter Swan restoration is being monitored through reports of swan sightings. Information obtained through these observations lets us know of survival of the individuals, reproduction and gives us knowledge of habitat utilization.


Examples of swan collarsYou can help by reporting all sightings of marked Trumpeter Swans that you see. Print out the Trumpeter swan observation form to record your sightings. This will guide you in providing the types of information that we record in our database. Please record and provide as much information as asked for on the observation form as possible.

Trumpeter Swan Observation Form Trumpeter Swan Observation Form When making observations of swan markers carefully note the type (neck-collar, wing marker or leg band) and color of the marker, then precisely record the alphanumeric code on the marker (this is usually 3 digits something like Red J05 or Green 6F2). You can then call our office at 641-357-3517 and report the swan(s) you've observed.

Alternatively, you can mail the completed form to: Iowa Department of Natural Resources 1203 North Shore Dr. Clear Lake, Iowa  50428

Or Email: David.Hoffman@dnr.iowa.gov

All observations that include verifiable marker codes will receive a response with updated information on the bird. Over 4,000 observations of Iowa released Trumpeter Swans have been reported to the Iowa DNR from as far away places as Colorado, Virgnia, Texas, and 2 provinces of Canada.