Posts Tagged ‘Harry Lumsden’

22nd Trumpeter Swan Society Conference Final Agenda Released

October 5, 2011

Trumpeter Swan experts and enthusiasts from all regions of North America will soon convene in Montana. The final agenda for The Trumpeter Swan Society’s upcoming October 10-14, 2012 conference, in Polson is replete with experts on topics ranging from lead poisoning issues to genetic viability to recent results of the 5-Year 2010 Trumpeter Swan Survey. Find a list of speakers and topics on the Society’s website.

Dale Becker, TTSS Board President and biologist with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), and Steve Lozar, CSKT Tribal Council Member will lead off with opening remarks, and a welcome to the Flathead Indian Reservation, co-sponsors of the Conference. Speakers scheduled for the October 11th,  Tuesday morning session will provide an overview of Trumpeter Swan population and issues, including an update on the 2010 North American Trumpeter Swan Survey. John Cornely, Executive Director, will describe the Society’s past, present and future, before kicking off an in-depth session on the pressing issue of conservation of Greater Yellowstone’s flocks. Susan Patla will speak Trumpeter status in Wyoming; Adonia Henry and Ruth Shea will discuss strategies for long term viability of Idaho’s Trumpeters. Gary Ivey, Board Vice President, will then chair a dynamic panel of experts including William Smith (USFWS), Rob Cavallaro (IDFG), J. Michael Scott (Univ. of Idaho), Jim Roscoe (Centennial Valley Assn.), and Kyle Cutting (USFWS).

After lunch, the agenda focus will be on Trumpeter Swan restoration efforts and genetic implications of programs, past and present. Several Montana projects will be featured by Janene Lichtenberg and Dale Becker (CSKT) and Clair Gower (MFWP), as well as an update of the Oregon program by Gary Ivey, and an overview of the situation for Trumpeters in Yellowstone, presented by Douglas W. Smith (NPS). Capping this session will be a talk by genetics expert Sara J. Oyler-McCance (USGS).

The afternoon will conclude with a session on managing for long-term viability, bringing in lessons learned from Greater Sage Grouse management, presented by Edward O. Garton (Univ. of Idaho). Effective use of partnerships to accomplish goals for viability will be discussed by Dan Casey (American Bird Conservancy), with the afternoon session concluding with a panel and group discussion on a long term conservation vision for Greater Yellowstone.

Wednesday, October 12th is slated for an all day field trip to highlight Trumpeter Swan Restoration on the Flathead Indian Reservation, with visits to Pablo NWR, Ninepipe NWR and the Blackfoot River Valley to hear more on northern Montana’s efforts. That evening, filmmakers Steve and Char Harryman seek input from conference participants as they begin a five-year project to tell the remarkable story of the Trumpeter Swan.

Thursday, October 13 promises to be a full and exciting day. The morning sessions will feature updates on the Pacific Coast Population in Alaska and Canada. Board member Jim Hawkings will chair reports from Deborah J. Groves and John I. Hodges (USFWS), William Quirk (Anchorage), Karen S. Bollinger (USFWS), and Board member Jim King. After a break, Board member Joe Johnson chairs a session on Trumpeter Swan research; speakers include: Jim Hawkings (CWS), Harry Lumsden (TTSS Board, Ontario), Kyle Cutting (USFWS), and Mike Smith (Univ. of WA), who will address issues of lead shot poisoning in swans.

Topics after lunch hone in on the remarkable restoration of Interior populations, chaired by Ron Andrews, TTSS Board member recently retired from Iowa DNR. Speakers include Joe Johnson (TTSS Board, Michigan State Univ. Kellog Bird Sanctuary), Larry Gillette (Three Rivers Park District, MN), Wayne Brininger (USFWS), Dave Hoffman (IDNR), and Harry Lumsden.

The final session prior to the Thursday evening banquet is chaired by Becky Abel, TTSS Board member, wrapping up the conference with a focus on managing Interior and Pacific Coast populations. Shilo Comeau (USFWS) will speak on the High Plains flock, and Roger Grosse (USFWS) will discuss landscape-level habitat use in the Sandhills of Nebraska and South Dakota. All speakers and participants have a special treat in store, learning about George Melendez Wright, a pioneer for Trumpeter Swan Conservation, in the key note address given by Jerry Emory of the California Parks Foundation. Mr. Wright’s great influence on science-based wildlife management in our National Parks was prominently featured in the Ken Burns historical series on our nation’s parks. Participants staying on through the 14th are invited to join informal field trips to wildlife-rich areas in and around Polson.

Registration remains open and can be done online, or by contacting the Society’s Executive Director, John Cornely (303) 933-9861 johncornely@msn.com.

Details on the conference hotel and specifics can be found on the Society’s website.  Photo by TTSS member, A. Frederickson.

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Trumpeter Swan Society: Ontario Trumpeter Population Tops 1000

June 26, 2009

 

 

Ontario Trumpeter Swan  photo by Tony Beck

Ontario Trumpeter Swan photo by Tony Beck

Volunteers Report Trumpeter Swan Wing Tags – Revealing a Self-Sustaining Population in Ontario

 

 

 

A team of vigilant observers has helped biologist and TTSS board member Harry Lumsden to track and tally what is now a successful, self-sustaining population of Trumpeter Swans in Ontario.  Ontario’s Trumpeters are marked with yellow wing tags. In a typical year, observers report 300-360 individuals. Once a number is read and reported, the data can be entered to help track that bird’s movements, habitat use and reproductive success. Data from tagged bird sightings allows biologists to produce a genetic family tree and to record population growth and range extension. This past year 116 birds were marked in Ontario — 70 of them caught by hand by the team of Bev and Ray Kingdon, Julie Kee and Kyna Intini in the wintering flock that feeds at La Salle Park and other areas near Burlington on the west end of Lake Ontario. Peak numbers recorded for this wintering group were 160 Trumpeters along with 100 Mute Swans. Smaller congregations, where other birds were marked, included Bluffer’s Park, Frenchman’s Bay, Whitby Harbour and Wye Marsh.

Tag sightings by observers across the southern part of the province proved useful even when the number was not recorded. Ontario observers have been asked to keep track of the proportion of marked to unmarked birds in groups observed (even if number is not read). The last four year’s analysis of reported proportions reveals a steady increase in the wild population. As the population grows, the percent of total marked birds has declined. In 2005, it was 54%. By 2006 it had declined to 46%, 2007, 44% and in 2008, 39%. In 2007-08 364 tagged birds were reported. By using this calculated annual percentage rate, with an adjustment for marked birds missed (based on year to year variance in reports of known live tagged birds) along with the percentage ratio of marked to unmarked birds, biologists estimate the population.

Doing the numbers, Harry Lumsden recorded quadruple figures for the Sept. 2007 to Aug. 2008 report — a total of 1018 birds.  The milestone of 1000 birds had been passed!  This number is for adult and sub-adult birds. Cygnets of the year averaged 39% for this period. Applying this ratio to overall numbers, Ontario’s breeding population estimate registers a remarkable 1415 birds. When Harry Lumsden started Ontario’s Trumpeter Swan Restoration program in 1982, Trumpeters had not been seen for almost 100 years, since 1886 when a hunter at Lake Erie’s Long Point shot the last known individual. The Ontario Field Ornithologists honored Lumsden with their Distinguished Ornithologist award for 2008. Among his many career achievements, leading the successful restoration of Ontario’s Trumpeter Swans must bring great satisfaction.

If you are reporting a sighting from ONTARIO, CANADA, please email us directly at trumpeterswan@live.com as this blog is not monitored regularly.