Behind-the-Scenes: Flyway Council Management / Meetings

Trumpeter Swan, Madison River, Yellowstone  photo by Mark Wetzel

Trumpeter Swan, Madison River, Yellowstone photo by Mark Wetzel

Countless hours are spent behind the scenes to assure the future of Trumpeter Swans and TTSS is a dynamic part of this process. Because Trumpeters are migratory birds that cross International boundaries, ultimate responsibility for their conservation falls to the Federal Governments of the U.S. and Canada. This responsibility has been delegated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service. These agencies in turn depend on states, provinces, and territories for assistance in managing migratory birds. Since 1948, Flyway Councils have been set up as administrative units for each of the four major migratory routes for birds in North America: Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific.
(See a map of flyways at:

Flyway Council members (1 representative for each state, province or territory involved) and biologists assigned to Technical Committees gather at a series of meetings each year to coordinate management, review data from monitoring programs and make recommendations to the federal agencies on a variety of issues. Much of the purpose is to regulate and set waterfowl hunting seasons. Each of the four flyways has a specific committee that deals with swan issues for Tundra, Trumpeter and Mute Swans.

TTSS Executive Director John Cornely, Board Members, and some of our regular members attend official Flyway Council meetings each year to advocate for Trumpeter Swans and to encourage support for the agencies that manage them. The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Technical Sections met in late February; Central and Pacific Flyway meetings are scheduled this year in the first half of March.

The United States has International Treaties with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia that govern conservation of shared migratory bird resources. In subsequent TTSS Blog postings we will detail behind-the-scenes work of dedicated biologists and managers working on Trumpeter Swans. We’ll describe the framework in which they work. Largely through their efforts we, our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy the amazing spectacle of migratory birds.


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