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Tribal wildlife biologists request information on nesting trumpeter swans

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News from CSKT Tribal Wildlife Program

FLATHEAD RESERVATION — Wildlife Biologists with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes began a project to restore trumpeter swans as a resident species on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the mid-1990s. Subsequent efforts resulted in the release of 249 captive bred Trumpeter Swans since 2002, which has resulted in at least 100 successful nesting attempts that have produced 222 fledgling cygnets to date.

Most of the nesting success has occurred on the Flathead Indian Reservation, but nesting swans that originated from the restoration project have also nested near Eureka during the past three years, and others that likely originated from the project have nested at Glacier National Park, Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge and elsewhere in the Flathead Valley.

As the released swans reach maturity at the age of three, they begin pairing and producing cygnets (baby swans). In an effort to better document the expansion of trumpeter swans in northwestern Montana, the Tribal Wildlife Management Program and other agency partners annually survey wetlands on the Reservation and elsewhere to record nesting attempts and production. 

The Wildlife Program staff is requesting observations from the public of trumpeter swan nesting and production of cygnets throughout northwestern Montana. If you have observed trumpeter swans nesting or adult swans with cygnets, please contact Dale Becker, Tribal Wildlife Program Manager by phone at (406-675-2700, ext. 7278 or by email at

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