More trumpter swans released at Boxley Valley

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DARDANELLE -- Fifteen more trumpeter swans are living in the wild in Arkansas after releases at two locations.

Eleven swans brought in from Iowa were released at Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, near Dardanelle, and four were released at the Boxley Valley Mill Pond on the Buffalo National River in western Newton County.

The latest swan releases were the second segment of a three-year experimental program of Iowa's Department of Natural Resources and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, according to Karen Rowe, the AGFC's non-game migratory bird program coordinator.

Ron Andrews and Dave Hoffman of the Iowa DNR brought the young trumpeter swans to Arkansas. Also participating in the project are the Buffalo National River and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Iowa to Arkansas translocation of trumpeter swans is a three-year experiment to see if migrating instincts can be encouraged for the birds. In 2008, 20 young trumpeter swans were brought from Iowa to Arkansas. The exact number to be moved in 2010 depends on swan reproduction in Iowa as well as observation of the birds already moved to Arkansas.

Trumpeter swans are increasing in Arkansas, with most of them spending the winter at little Magness Lake just east of Heber Springs, where they have been wintering since the early 1990s. The swans are part of a successful restoration program that started in Minnesota and has expanded to Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and Ohio.

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