Trumpeter swan removed from Ohio’s threatened species list following 30-year effort

The trumpeter swan has been removed from Ohio’s threatened species list after nearly 30 years of the state working to restore its population.

Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz made the announcement Friday after the Ohio Wildlife Council voted to remove the trumpeter swan from the list.

“Ohio’s professional wildlife biologists dedicated themselves to growing the trumpeter swan population over nearly three decades, and their perseverance has paid off,” DeWine said. “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.”

There are nearly 900 trumpeter swans in Ohio nesting in 26 different counties.

The swan’s population went through a severe decline in North America in the 1700s and 1800s due to unregulated harvest and the loss of wetland habitats, according to ODNR. The trumpeter swan was no long in Ohio as early as the 1700s.

The Division of Wildlife started a trumpeter swan reintroduction program in 1996 following habitat improvements and successful reintroduction programs in other states. Swan eggs were collected at the Minto Flats State Game Refuge in Alaska and flown to Ohio in incubators.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The Wilds of the Columbus Zoo partnered to help care for the eggs and raise the young trumpeter swans before releasing them in the appropriate habitats.

They were listed as an endangered species upon their release and downgraded to threatened in 2012.

“Trumpeter swans represent a great comeback story for Ohio,” said Mertz. “This is just one of many examples of the conservation work ODNR has been doing for the last 75 years. Through the hard work and dedication of our staff and conservation partners we can once again see trumpeter swans fly through Ohio’s skies.”

A survey published last year on the state’s trumpeter swan population found 152 breeding pairs in 26 counties, mainly in central and northern Ohio.

Trumpeter swans will continue to receive protection in Ohio under state and federal wildlife laws. The Division of Wildlife also will continue to monitor and manage efforts to increase the swan’s population and habitat.

About the Author