Posts Tagged ‘Ruth Shea’


November 11, 2009
Three Trumpeter Swan Cygnets by David. K. Weaver

Photo: Three Trumpeter Swan Cygnets by David K. Weaver

On the road some 300 days a year lecturing as an advocate for wildlife, Dr. Jane Goodall discovers many fascinating stories of endangered species and the people who have labored to save them.  In her latest book, Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink, Dr. Goodall chronicles many of these inspiring efforts.

With co-authors Thayne Maynard and Gail Hudson,  she has collected the stories into a 392 page volume that focuses on the very most endangered species in the world.  On her associated website, Hope for Animals and Their World, she highlights additional species, including the Trumpeter Swan.  You’ll find rich descriptions of her personal experiences with Trumpeters portrayed in prose. She describes standing close to them, the sounds they make, the size of their feet.

Jane Goodall chronicles the decline of Trumpeters and the establishment of The Trumpeter Swan Society, which began with a small group of dedicated individuals committed to the swan’s secure restoration.  She writes about a mid-1970’s TTSS conference near Yellowstone where managers weighed the merits of restrained populations held by the tether of winter feed. In attendance was Ruth Shea, currently a TTSS Director. Listening to those how envisioned had a larger vision, one that has fueled a life passion and years of professional work with swans. Ruth’s vision and life story resonates with Dr. Goodall’s. Both have experienced intense field research time that inspired them to become advocates for their species.

Dr. Goodall continues with the 1960 launch of Trumpeter restoration at LaCreek National Wildlife Refuge, located in South Dakota on the border of Nebraska. She describes a personal visit to the area, guided by biologists Tom Koerner and Shilo Comeau on a bitter cold day. She shares rich memories of seeing two swans in flight.

 She goes on to describe restoration in western Montana, and gives a great description of swan biologist Greg Neudecker, a former University of Minnesota football player.  Greg is quite at home handling tenacious swans, working with conservation-minded landowners, and inspiring public participation in restoration efforts. Applauding that Trumpeter restoration success is possible in a region where high quality wetlands are held by private ranchlands, author and activist Jane Goodall says that nowhere on Earth is there a better model for conservation than the Blackfoot program.

Her closing section holds a sweeping quote from TTSS’ Ruth Shea who concludes that the Trumpeter Swan “was nearly destroyed by the unthinking actions of many people across North America. But it also was restored by the thoughtful and dedicated actions of many people, who shared a common vision and worked together.

If you share this vision, please take action! Join TTSS and help us be more effective today!

Trumpeter Swan Slain at Nest – Society Posts Reward

June 11, 2009
Trumpeter Swan Shot at Nest near Ashton, Idaho

Trumpeter Swan Shot at Nest near Ashton, Idaho

    Idaho Fish and Wildlife officials have confirmed the shooting death of a Trumpeter Swan at its nest at Hossner Pond about a mile out from Ashton, Idaho.  On May 29th, while flying over the Greater Yellowstone region on the region’s annual aerial spring nesting survey, biologist and Trumpeter Swan Society Director-at-Large Ruth Shea found something terribly wrong at a well-known nest site. Three eggs lay cold on the swan’s carefully-constructed nest mound – eggs that contained hope for improving on last year’s record lack of reproductive success across the region. Idaho Fish and Game officials were called immediately and went in to investigate and confirm the loss. Yellowstone’s breeding population is on the decline, enough so that TTSS has launched a five-year initiative to help secure the population. Last year marked the lowest reproduction for Yellowstone’s Trumpeter Swans on record with only 2 reported fledged cygnets. The loss of the recently slain bird is more devastating than most probably realize. Idaho had only 15 nesting pairs of Trumpeters in 2008 and only five cygnets reported as fledging in the whole state. To help fight this flagrant violation of wildlife law, The Trumpeter Swan Society has posted a REWARD for information leading to a conviction. Tips should be called into the Fish and Game Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Further details can be found on our website at
Photo: Idaho Department of Fish and Game