News Archive 2012

TTSS AND TRUMPETERS SAY GOODBYE TO A GREAT FRIEND

On October 9, 2012, the Society lost Director and friend Joe Johnson. W. C. "Joe" Johnson wrote and implemented the restoration plan for Trumpeter Swans for Michigan and served as the State's Trumpeter Swan restoration coordinator. He led the very successful effort to restore the magnificent Trumpeter to part of its historical nesting range after over a century.

The native of Kalamazoo was best known for his waterfowl and wetland expertise, but his interests and experience were much broader. Joe was an avid hunter and served on the National Board of Directors of Pheasants Forever for 16 years. He was elected to the Board of Directors of The Trumpeter Swan Society in 2003 and was an active member and TTSS Conference participant for many years prior to that. Since 1987, he has been the Chair of the Mississippi Flyway Council's Swan Committee, continuing to serve even in retirement. At the time of his swan song, he was leading the Flyway Council's effort to revise the management plan for Trumpeters.

Joe worked at Michigan State University's W. K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for 48 years. He retired in 2007 after being the sanctuary's Manager since 1985. In addition to his excellent work with swans, he was instrumental in the successful return of Giant Canada Geese to Michigan.

Joe spent his last days at Rose Arbor Hospice Center that is surrounded by a natural space with ponds frequented by flocks of Canada geese. As Joe's family left Rose Arbor all of the geese took flight hours earlier than their normal routine to escort Joe to the his next Sanctuary. We will sorely miss his friendship and good counsel. We will have to search for someone else to keep us in line according to Robert's Rules of Order. He was truly one of kind!

When he retired the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary established the Joe Johnson Endowment Fund for Wildlife Conservation Fellowship. This fund provides support for students who want to study and work with wildlife conservation and habitat preservation or restoration at the Sanctuary. The Directors and staff of TTSS are going to make a contribution to the fund to honor Joe for his outstanding contributions to swan conservation and his leadership in TTSS. We invite you to do the same.

To contribute you may go online to: http://www.kbs.msu.edu/giving/joe-johnson-fund.


TTSS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR BECKY ABEL SELECTED AS 2012 TOYOTA/AUDUBON TOGETHERGREEN FELLOW

June 2012 - Becky Abel, TTSS Associate Director, has won a 2012 Audubon & Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship (and a grant for $10,000) for a project to work with electric energy companies to reduce Trumpeter Swan collisions with power lines. Abel was one of 40 fellows nationwide selected for this prestigious award. The TogetherGreen Fellowship Program invests in high-potential individuals from all backgrounds, providing them with resources, visibility, and a growing peer network to help them lead communities nationwide to a healthier environmental future. TTSS is excited for the increased visibility that this award will give to Trumpeter Swans and the issues surrounding their conservation.
Read the Press Release   |   Learn more about Becky's project


MONTANA APPROVES NEW TRUMPETER SWAN RESTORATION PROGRAM

Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has voted to approve a new program to restore nesting Trumpeter Swans in the Madison River Valley, northwest of Yellowstone National Park. The swans that nest in Greater Yellowstone are the only breeding population that escaped extinction in the Lower 48 states. They are the smallest and most vulnerable nesting group in North America. This is one of several projects in the region to that are working to improve swan habitat and restore nesting pairs. Read the full story


TTSS JOINS LAWSUIT CHALLENGING EPA'S FAILURE TO PROTECT WILDLIFE FROM LEAD POISONING

Millions of Birds, Other Wildlife, Poisoned Yearly by Lead Ammunition Left in Wild-Including Eagles, Condors, Swans, Loons
Seven conservation groups filed suit on June 7th against the Environmental Protection Agency for refusing to address toxic lead in hunting ammunition that frequently poisons and kills eagles, swans, loons, endangered California condors and other wildlife, as well as affecting human health. Ignoring well-established science on the dangers of lead poisoning from spent ammunition, the EPA refuses to acknowledge or evaluate risks to wildlife and human health. The EPA in April denied a petition requesting a public process to consider regulations for nontoxic hunting ammunition. This lawsuit challenges that decision. Read the full story


THE TRUMPETER SWAN SOCIETY RECEIVES MAJOR GRANT FROM THE YELLOWSTONE TO YUKON CONSERVATION INITIATIVE FOR WORK IN MONTANA'S CENTENNIAL VALLEY

The Trumpeter Swan Society is most grateful to the (Y2Y) Partner Grants Program for supporting our efforts to protect to swan habitat in Montana�s Centennial Valley. Y2Y recently announced their grant of $4,500 to support our Centennial Valley Cooperative Wetland Conservation Project. The Centennial Valley, including Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, contains the single-most important nesting and molting habitat for Greater Yellowstone�s fragile Trumpeter Swan nesting flock. Read the full story


SALISH, KOOTENAI TRIBES WIN NATIONAL CONSERVATION AWARD

Former TTSS Board President Dale Becker accepts National Wildlife Federation Award on behalf of the Confederated Salish Kootanai Tribes, May 17, 2012 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Read the full story


REMEMBERING A FOUNDING FATHER OF THE TRUMPETER SWAN SOCIETY, PETER WARD

Peter Ward was one of the founding fathers of The Trumpeter Swan Society in 1968. He died suddenly on March 24 at the age of 92 in his home in Portagela Prairie, Manitoba. Up until last May, Peter had been an integral part of the Delta Marsh for decades � �Delta Waterfowl�s �legend-in-residence.�� Read the full story


MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR THE TRUMPETER SWAN SOCIETY PAST PRESIDENT AND BOARD MEMBER, HAROLD H. BURGESS SET FOR 2PM, JUNE 16, 2012 IN WESLACO, TEXAS

April 2012

Last month, members, Board members and staff of The Trumpeter Swan Society were saddened to hear of the death of Harold Burgess. Harold served on the Society�s Board of Directors and as President of TTSS for two terms. He was recently honored by the Society as one of the first recipients of the TTSS George Melendez Wright Trumpeter Swan Conservation Award. Read the full story



TTSS BOARD MEMBER BOB BLOHM RECEIVES THE 2012 GEORGE BIRD GRINNELL MEMORIAL AWARD BY THE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE (WMI)

April 2012

This award, established in honor of the acknowledged "Father of American Conservation" - George Bird Grinnell - it is WMI's highest honor for individual contribution to conservation in North America. TTSS Congratulates Bob!

Revered waterfowl biologist and consummate conservationist Robert "Bob" Blohm was honored with the Wildlife Management Institute�s (WMI) 2012 George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation. The award was conferred last month during the annual Conservation Administrators Luncheon at the 77th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

The award, established in honor of the acknowledged �Father of American Conservation� - George Bird Grinnell - is WMI�s highest honor for individual contribution to conservation in North America. Presenting the award was WMI President, Steve Williams, who noted that Blohm�s thirty-two year tenure with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was characterized by �unassuming and selfless qualities of character and a dedication to the science and principles of wildlife management.�

During his career, Blohm served in a variety of leadership roles within the Service�s Office of Migratory Bird Management. He started as staff biologist before moving on to Chief of the Section of Population, then Chief of the Branch of Operations (later renamed the Branch of Surveys and Assessment), followed by Deputy Division Chief, and, finally, as the Division Chief. His extensive involvement in the administration and leadership of the Migratory Bird Management Office positioned him to play a crucial role in nearly every major North American waterfowl initiative or controversy since the 1980s.

His contributions to the field of waterfowl management include the design of seminal waterfowl population studies, administration of duck banding programs for the �Stabilized Regulations� initiative, and the supervision of operations to integrate duck population dynamics into North American waterfowl hunting regulations for more than 20 years. Additionally, Blohm oversaw the completion of the waterfowl population trends report, harvest survey reports, the Waterfowl Status Report, Adaptive Harvest Management Report, and was instrumental to the framing of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

"Those who have known and worked with Bob note that his leadership style, though quiet and understated, is founded upon a deep understanding of wildlife and an overriding confidence in the ability of well-informed people to manage their future,� said Williams. �Bob�s integrity, affability and calm demeanor have earned him a vast legion of friends within and outside the wildlife profession.�


THE 2010 NORTH AMERICAN TRUMPETER SWAN SURVEY

February 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) just released the 2010 North American Trumpeter Swan Survey Report, compiled by FWS biologist Deborah Groves stationed in Juneau, Alaska. The Trumpeter Swan Society (TTSS) commends Debbie for coordinating and summarizing this massive undertaking. Along with FWS, Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), provinces, states, territories, other agencies, and other private organizations, TTSS is an active survey participant and facilitator. Read the report


FORMER TTSS BOARD MEMBER HARRY LUMSDEN HAS RECEIVED THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S ONTARIO HERITAGE AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

March, 2012

Former TTSS Board Member Harry Lumsden has received the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement this year. This prestigious award honors individuals who have made contributions to preserving, protecting and promoting community heritage for 25 years or more. The community of Aurora, where Mr. Lumsden resides, celebrated his award, along with other community member awards, at an evening ceremony at the town council on February 23, 2012. Mr. Lumdsen was presented with his award at the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award Ceremony held at Queen's Park on Friday, February 24, 2012. The event coincided with Heritage Week in Ontario, February 20 to 26. Read full story


TTSS COMPLETES FIRST YEAR OF THE CENTENNIAL VALLEY PROJECT

March, 2012

Southwest Montana's Centennial Valley is crucially important to the survival of Trumpeter Swans that nest in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. During summer 2011, The Trumpeter Swan Society funded monitoring and research at over 30 historic nesting territories on private ranches and public lands west of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Swan use and nesting success at these territories has declined in recent years. Our Centennial Valley Project is working in partnership with local ranch owners to document current swan use and habitat conditions. Our goal is to identify and implement habitat improvement projects that will restore the productivity of these nesting territories. Increasing nesting and cygnet production in these territories will increase the security of the Greater Yellowstone Trumpeter Swans and help connect them to the restoration flocks in western Montana. Our recent released report on the Centennial Valley Project 2011 documents the high potential of this area and builds the knowledge base for future site-specific habitat projects.
Read the report (pdf 6.5 megs)


SWAN SONG: WASHINGTON TRUMPETERS FACE THREATS FROM POACHING, LEAD POISONING

January 30, 2012 ~ The Monroe Monitor and Valley News

It may seem like there are so many trumpeter swans around in the winter that the loss of a few would not be cause for alarm.

But the swans people see in Western Washington in the winter represent a sizable portion of all the trumpeter swans in the nation.

So when some of them die at the hands of poachers and others perish from ingesting lead items found in the environment, stewards of the birds take it seriously.

This winter, three birds were shot in Snohomish County, one at the Tualco Valley's Crescent Lake. A dozen more die county wide each year from eating lead, and one of the areas rich in lead is also Crescent Lake.

Now wildlife biologist Martha Jordan, chair of the Washington Swan Stewards, hopes to educate sports people on how best to enjoy the outdoors without harming swans as they do it.

According to Jordan, there are about 40,000 swans on the North American continent, and 28,000 of them live between the Cascades and the Pacific Ocean. Read full story


ILLEGAL SHOOTINGS - A THREAT TO TRUMPETER SWANS

2011/2012: Washington State Hotline to Report Trumpeter Deaths

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has re-established a hotline to report dead or ill swans in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties as the agency monitors trumpeter swans that are ill or have died of lead poisoning.

People can call 360-466-4345, Ext. 266, to report dead or sick swans. Callers should be prepared to leave a message that includes their name, phone number, and the location and condition of the swans. The hot line is available 24 hours a day through March. The Trumpeter Swan Society has been working with partners in Washington to locate sources of lead since 2001. TTTS has supported this effort and assists the agencies in responding to reports of dead and dying swans.

Click here to read more