National Elk Refuge special program spotlights Trumpeter Swans Jan. 22
At the Jackson Visitor Center
by US Fish & Wildlife Service
January 19, 2011
The National Elk Refuge will be hosting a special program on Saturday, January 22 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson. The program, entitled Ko-hoh: Restoring the Trumpeter Swans, features two area biologists involved in the management of the spectacular bird. With a wingspan of seven feet or more and a height of roughly four feet, the trumpeter swan ranks as the largest native waterfowl species in North America. "Ko-hoh" is the voice text often used to describe the unique call of the trumpeter.
Trumpeter swans were once fairly common throughout most of the northern U.S. and Canada, but market hunting and the millinery trade rapidly depleted nesting populations during the 19th century. By the late 1800s, it was widely believed that the species may have become extinct. However, a small nonmigratory population survived in the mountain valleys of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other government organizations, and private organizations played and continue to play an important role in restoring the birds to their native ranges.
Susan Patla, a Nongame Biologist with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, will lead off Saturdayís program with a presentation at 1:00 pm on wintering swans. Patla is responsible for the management and monitoring of the trumpeter swan population in Wyoming and coordinates efforts with other states. She also served as the chairperson of the Greater Yellowstone Trumpeter Swan Working Group for 10 years. Patla will be followed at 1:45 pm by Drew Reed, Executive Director of the Wyoming Wetlands Society and Trumpeter Swan Fund. Reed will give an overview of the organizationís involvement in the restoration of the Rocky Mountain population of trumpeter swans and wetland restoration. From 2:30 to 4:00 pm, both speakers will be available for questions and discussions, and a number of items will be on display, including trumpeter swan feathers, egg replicas, and a full trumpeter swan mount. Winter naturalists will be available to help visitors look for trumpeter swans from the visitor centerís upper viewing deck.
For more information on the January 22 program, please call 307-734-9378 or visit the visitor centerís web page at www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge/JacksonHoleVisitorCenter.htm