Posts Tagged ‘Waterfowl conservation’

The Trumpeter Swan Society Urges Action: 200 Groups Object to Lead-poisoning Provision in Sportsmen’s Bill

December 3, 2012

https://i0.wp.com/www.trumpeterswansociety.org/images/swan-information.jpg

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/294/632/199/stop-lead-poisoning-legislation/

Every signature counts, please pass this on!

In late November, 2012, The Trumpeter Swan Society (TTSS) joined more than 200 citizen groups in objecting to a provision in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 3525) that would create an exemption under federal toxics law to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from evaluating or regulating lead poisoning of wildlife and humans from hunting or fishing activities.

A wide array of public-interest organizations called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow debate on the lead-poisoning exemption. Such debate has never occurred in Congress despite the serious environmental and public-health problems caused by spent lead ammunition and lost lead fishing weights and the availability of nontoxic alternatives to lead. The organizations support an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to block the exemption and study the human-health and environmental effects of lead poisoning from lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers.

“It’s outrageous that the Senate can’t find 10 minutes to allow any debate before voting to prevent our federal environmental agency from regulating, or even evaluating, a deadly toxic substance that we know is killing bald eagles and other wildlife — a toxin that causes neurological damage to humans and hinders mental development in children,” said William Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are good reasons we got toxic lead out of gasoline and home paints. The irony of this bill, preventing any regulation of lead used in hunting ammunition or fishing weights, is that it will harm hunters and anglers.”

The Sportsmen’s Act, which could be voted on as early as today, would create an exemption under the Toxic Substances Control Act to block the EPA from ever regulating toxic lead used in hunting ammunition and fishing sinkers or even evaluating the impacts of lead from these sources. The bill also contains an exemption that would allow imports of threatened polar bear parts from Canada despite the Endangered Species Act’s prohibition against such trade.

“Why would the Senate bow to the National Rifle Association’s anti-science views on lead poisoning and pass a special-interest legal exemption to promote further lead poisoning?” said Snape. “The amendment offered by Senator Boxer would actually establish a moratorium on any regulation of lead in ammunition or fishing sinkers until federal health and environment agencies prepare an objective study that all Americans could trust.”

Toxic lead entering the food chain from spent hunting ammunition and lost or discarded fishing sinkers poisons and kills bald eagles, endangered condors, loons, swans and more than 130 other species of wildlife. Hunters risk lead poisoning from ingesting lead fragments and residues in game shot with lead ammunition. Recent studies and scientific reports show elevated blood lead levels in hunters eating lead-infected meat, as well as dangerous lead contamination of venison donations to low-income food banks.

The Boxer amendment is reprinted below in its entirety.

Boxer Amendment to the Sportsmen’s Act:

SA 2902. Mrs. BOXER submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 2875 proposed by Mr. REID (for Mr. TESTER) to the bill S. 3525, to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

Strike section 121 and insert the following:

SEC. 121. NO REGULATION OF AMMUNITION OR FISHING TACKLE PENDING STUDY OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS.

(a) No Regulation of Ammunition or Fishing Tackle.–The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall not issue any proposed or final rule or guidance to regulate any chemical substance or mixture in ammunition or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the date of the publication of the study required by subsection (b).

(b) Study of Potential Human Health and Environmental Effects.—

(1) IN GENERAL.–Not later than December 31, 2014, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary of the Interior shall jointly prepare and publish a study that describes the potential threats to human health (including to pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable populations) and to the environment from the use of—

(A) lead and toxic substances in ammunition and fishing tackle; and

(B) commercially available and less toxic alternatives to lead and toxic substances in ammunition and fishing tackle.

(2) USE.–The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall use, as appropriate, the findings of the report required by paragraph (1) when considering any potential future decision related to a chemical substance or mixture when the substance or mixture is used in ammunition or fishing tackle.

This text is from a public press release issued by the Center for Biological Diversity, a group coordinating the effort on this vital issue. The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. For quick and immediate action, you can sign a petition online at

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/294/632/199/stop-lead-poisoning-legislation/

Every signature counts, please pass this on!

 

The Trumpeter Swan Society Receives Major Grant from the Yellowstone to Yukon Consevation Initiative for Work in Montana’s Centennial Valley

May 26, 2012

Trumpeters in Centennial Valley by Jess Lee

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.

Preventing damage to these habitats and where possible improving their quality is a top priority for TTSS.  Some of these wetlands also provide important habitat for Grayling, which might be listed as threatened or endangered in the near future.  Without great care, there is potential for some actions that would benefit Grayling to damage important swan habitats. In addition, at some sites water delivery problems and increasing human disturbance jeopardize swan nesting success.

Working closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Montana, and other conservation partners, we will be working to develop a model program to minimize damage to swan habitat from fish conservation efforts and seek ways to improve swan habitat where possible. We will also be working with private landowners and public land managers to improve water levels and reduce disturbance of swans in historic habitats.

Trumpeter Pair in the Centennial Valley by Jess Lee http://www.jessleephotos.com

The Trumpeter Swan Society Welcomes New Board Member – David Myers, Idaho Falls, Idaho

September 27, 2011

DAVID MYERS

David Myers brings significant business and financial experience to our Board along with a passion for the outdoors and Trumpeter Swans.  Raised in Oregon, he has lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for over a decade.  Dave has a degree in accounting and experience as a CPA.  He is currently the CEO of 34 Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake Pizza franchises in Idaho, Iowa, and Tennessee.  A U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Dave received the 2007 “Brightest Star Award” from the Governor of Idaho for developing a family support program for deployed National Guard troops.  He is an avid outdoorsman, with fly fishing and white-water boat guiding experience.  Dave is dedicated to helping the Society take swan conservation to a new level, particularly in Idaho.  We are very fortunate to have him join the Board.  And hey, check out the fish!

The Trumpeter Swan Society August 2011 Photograph of the Month

July 25, 2011

Kip Ladage's Trumpeter Swan close-up.

Professional Photographer and TTSS Photo-of-the-Month host Greg Smith says:

Kip’s image of the Trumpeter Swan photographed with his wife’s point and shoot Nikon just shows that knowledge of your subject, and enhanced photographic skills are so important when creating an outstanding photograph.  This is not to say that point and shoot cameras are less capable of creating excellent quality photographs.  On the contrary, the quality and capabilities of the latest models are getting so good that in my discussions with some photographers, there is a small movement migrating away from the DSLR’s and their large lenses to the point and shoot.  More on that in the future…

As in the past, I have talked about the challenge of lighting on a white subject that has black features.  Kip did an excellent job of capturing the finest of detail in the feathers, which the black background only enhanced.  And with a light-colored subject, that also allowed Kip to increase the depth of field.

Another very nice quality of the photograph is that it is not the entire bird.  The focal point of the bird is the head and the eye and with that being the case, just look at how the neck, wings and feathers pull the viewer’s perspective to that point.  If the photograph included the entire bird or had a cluttered background, there would be a less focused feeling towards the focal point.  All of this points to Kip’s capabilities to creat an outstanding photograph on the spur of the moment!

Featured Photographer for August, 2011 – Kip Ladage, Tripoli, Iowa

Kip Ladage is self-taught nature photographer and writer residing in Tripoli, Iowa.  His photos and writings have appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, posters, calendars, web sites, and television at the local, state, and national levels.  His images have also been used in books, magazines, and web sites in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Kip has presented numerous nature photography programs and workshops to people of all ages–from Kindergarten students to college classes, adult organizations, and residents of long-term care facilities.

When not pursuing wildlife images, Kip Ladage enjoys backpacking, hiking, paddling his kayak, and riding his motorcycle.

For more information, visit Ladage Photography on the web at: http://sites.butler-bremer.com/web/kladage/home.htm.

Contact Kip Ladage via e-mail at: LadagePhotography@gmail.com.

About the Photo:

The fact that this trumpeter swan image even exists is based a bit on preplanning, good timing, ideal positioning, and much good luck.

My wife and I were visiting the Iowa DNR booth at the Iowa State Fair.  Outside of their booth is a small pond where injured and rehab waterfowl are on display for the public to enjoy.  Included in the display were two trumpeter swans.  I seldom travel anywhere without a camera of some sort.  On this day we were carrying my wife’s point and shoot camera.  I left my DSLR home since it is heavy and, after all, what is the likelihood of finding a nature photo subject in a sea of people at the state fair!

While Kristy and I were watching the ducks and swans, this particular swan floated near us.  I noticed it approaching and began tracking the beautiful bird with the camera as it approached.  Just as the bird moved directly in front of us, it turned its head back and for a split second adjusted its feathers.  During that brief moment in time I captured just this one image of the bird.  Under normal conditions I would have been very frustrated that my wife’s camera was so slow, allowing only one image file to be created.  However, in this case, the camera captured the special moment perfectly.  Who could ask for anything more?

Image details: Nikon P100, no cropping, image shown full frame.

We are pleased that Kip was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

Gift of Art Print Benefits The Trumpeter Swan Society: Rob Dreyer & the Artists for Conservation Program

July 7, 2011
AHEAD of the STORM, by artist Rob Dreyer

We are thrilled that Ron Dreyer, of Dreyer Fine Arts, selected The Trumpeter Swan Society to receive a percentage of the sales of a fabulous Trumpeter art print as part of the Artists for Conservation (AFC) program.  The original artwork, and an offer for Limited Edition prints, is featured in his online gallery.

Intrigued by his evocative capture of the essence of three Trumpeters taking flight in AHEAD OF THE STORM, we asked him about his work. He shared this:

“I am a lifelong artist and conservationist with a focus on portraits in oil.  While I started with human portraits, it was only natural that I extend my abilities into what has always been my natural passion, the marvels of creation found in the animal kingdom.  You will notice in my wildlife portrait work, that rather than a landscape with wildlife, I tend to focus almost exclusively on the animal itself, often working life size or larger where possible. My intention is a stunning up-close portrait of the creature, with only a secondary interest in its surroundings. In this way, the viewer’s focus is forced toward the beautiful details both in their character and the patterns of their creation. This offers a perception of our natural world that may not be as noticeable in real life or in a more typical artistic interpretation.”

We learned more about Rob Dreyer through the Artists for Conservation website and we encourage you to visit to read more of his story.  A lifelong artist and conservationist, Rob grew up in Missouri. He credits his father, a physician and naturalist, for instilling in him at a deep reverence for beauty and the miracle shown in detail of every living thing.  For over 10 years, Rob Dreyer worked as a muralist, painting over 100 works on private residences, government buildings, and churches.  Today, he focuses on portraits of wildlife and humans, striving to bring sweeping scope and luminosity to canvas in the studio.  Rob has generously donated one of this series of fine-art prints to the upcoming SILENT AUCTION at TTSS’s 22nd Conference coming up this year Oct. 10-14 in Polson, Montana.  

Ron Dreyer is a member of the Artists for Conservation foundation (AFC) is a nonprofit international organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the foundation represents the world’s leading collective of artists focused on nature and wildlife, with a membership spanning five continents and 27 countries.  The organization’s mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.  Members donate 5 percent or more of wildlife originals or limited edition prints in support of conservation organizations that they select.  This year, November 4-13, 2011, AFC will host the First Annual Artists for Conservation Festival at Grouse Mountain Resort, site of the recent Winter Olympics. Sounds like a grand event that you may want to attend, featuring exhibits, film premieres, demonstrations, and workshops. 

Visit their website, www.natureartists.com, to learn more.

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.