Ohio Triumphs in Wildlife Conservation as Trumpeter Swan Soars Off Threatened List

In a pivotal wildlife conservation success, the trumpeter swan has been officially removed from Ohio’s Threatened Species List, marking the end of a 28-year effort towards species recovery.

The trumpeter swan has been removed from Ohio's Threatened Species List.

Photo: Pexels
The trumpeter swan has been removed from Ohio’s Threatened Species List.

The Path to Recovery

Originating in the 1990s, the recovery initiative was a collaborative effort involving state wildlife agencies and local zoos. These efforts included importing swan eggs from Alaska and nurturing them at facilities like the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The Wilds of the Columbus Zoo, according to Peak of Ohio. This meticulous process involved not just breeding but also re-establishing the swans in suitable wetland habitats across Ohio.

Nearly 900 trumpeter swans now inhabit Ohio.

Photo: Pexels
Nearly 900 trumpeter swans now inhabit Ohio.

Population and Habitat Restoration

Today, nearly 900 trumpeter swans call Ohio home, spanning across 26 counties, 10 WBNS reports. The success is largely attributed to extensive habitat restoration and management efforts that provided the birds with the environments they need to thrive.

Governor Mike DeWine emphasized the combined efforts in habitat creation and monitoring, “In addition to monitoring the growth of the trumpeter swan population, a great deal of work also went into creating and restoring wetland habitat needed for generations of trumpeters to nest and thrive,” he said in a release.

The recovery began with importing swan eggs from Alaska.

Photo: Pexels
The recovery began with importing swan eggs from Alaska.

Biological and Legislative Milestones

The criteria for delisting included having more than 40 breeding pairs for three consecutive years, a milestone first achieved in 2015 and consistently met since. The species’ spread across the state also reflects improved ecological conditions, allowing these large waterfowl to sustain a growing population, WVXU reports.

Ongoing Conservation Efforts

Despite their removal from the threatened list, trumpeter swans are still protected under federal and state laws, NBC reports. Continuous monitoring and habitat management ensure that the swans remain a conservation success story in Ohio.

As noted by Mary Mertz, ODNR Director, “Trumpeter swans represent a great comeback story for Ohio. This is just one of many examples of the conservation work ODNR has been doing for the last 75 years.”

The swans are spread across 26 different counties in the state.

Photo: Pexels
The swans are spread across 26 different counties in the state.

Reflections on a Conservation Triumph

The trumpeter swan’s recovery is indicative of broader wildlife restoration efforts that have similarly brought back species like the bald eagle and osprey. The success highlights the critical importance of dedicated wildlife management and the effective use of science-based practices in conservation.

This achievement not only enhances biodiversity but also enriches the natural heritage of Ohio, ensuring that the majestic trumpeter swan continues to grace the skies and waters of the state for future generations.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, spending time with his daughters, and coffee.
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