In late July, this family of Trumpeter Swans was found at the Goose Pond wetland complex, east of Fort Washakie on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR). This is the first successful breeding attempt resulting from the partnership’s release program in Fremont County, Wyoming. The female, most likely F37 (her band #) is five years old and was released on the WRIR with four other cygnets in 2013. Her mate is most likely a descendent of birds released along the upper Green River. The pair winters along the Green River in Lincoln County at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Sweetwater County.
While it is easy to believe that all one needs to do is release swans and hope for the best, this breeding success is the result of actions taken by the Wyoming Wetland Society, private land owners, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes, the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to restore the Goose Pond wetland complex. The important lesson from this exciting milestone is that if there’s appropriate habitat, Trumpeter Swans will use it, but we have to have both the habitat and the swans for this to occur.