Let’s help conserve the endangered trumpeter swan!


The trumpeter swan is the largest and rarest swan in the world. There are approximately 995 trumpeter swans nesting in Yukon, northern B.C., southwestern N.W.T. and the Grande Prairie/Peace River region of Alberta. This sparse bird has a long white neck that stretches out during flight, but when swimming and standing, is held with a kink at the base. It is roughly 5-6 feet tall from bill to tail, and has a wingspan of 8 feet. The swan has white plumage and all white wings, with a black bill and feet. The trumpeter swan is active in Alberta from mid-April to mid-October. The birds arrive in Alberta in April and move north as the lakes and rivers open in the spring. Their fall migration starts in October or November. They fly south as far as they need to find shallow lakes and rivers with lots of food and water. These birds generally eat an abundance of aquatic plants, snails and insects, and live on shallow marshes and lakes.


In the 1900’s, the trumpeter swan was nearly extinct. Huge populations were being hunted down, by Natives, due to their feathers, down, and meat. They were also disturber by neighbouring settlements. Numbers declined when a market developed in European settlements. By the 1930’s Yellowstone national park was the only area with a breeding population. In the 1930’s an international restoration program was developed to conserve the animal. Currently, the trumpeter swan is still considered vulnerable and legally protected in Canada and the United States. The trumpeter swan is classified as At Risk in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. The greatest risks for the swans are critical shortage of wintering habitat, lack of food, and increased exposure to diseases.


If you want to make a difference contact me at the specified email address below, or any websit listed above.


What can you do? You can help in the effort to restore trumpeter swans by learning as much as you can about them, making a donation to an organization that will help these swans, and reporting nesting sites of trumpeter swans to the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program by calling toll free 888-MINNDNR. You can also visit the Alberta wilderness association,,, world wildlife fund, Canadian wildlife federation, and Canadian nature federation. Please help the trumpeter swans!