Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Minnesota trumpeter swan migration ecology and conservation


July 2019 - June 2023


Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) have high intrinsic and economic value in Minnesota as a protected wildlife species. MN citizens enthusiastically invested in the restoration of trumpeter swans through the check off donation and other funding sources to the MN Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) Nongame Program since the mid-1980s. The Interior Population of trumpeter swans (of which MN swans comprise ~63%) has increased dramatically since they were re-established in the 1960s and 1970s and both population size and distribution have expanded significantly in Minnesota since the MNDNR Alaska-egg project began in 1986. The original MN reintroduction goal of 15 breeding pairs and the revised interim goal of 500 individuals by 2001 have been greatly exceeded, with a current estimate of nearly 17,000 swans (an average annual finite rate of increase of ~1.20 since 2000). Better understanding of trumpeter swan ecology will be extremely useful in developing future management strategies for this growing population.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 2

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 11

Scientific Publications: 48

Presentations: 104



Funding Agencies

  • State of Minnesota, Environmental Trust Fund as recommended by LCCMR


Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Minnesota
  5. Wildlife Management Institute