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The History of Trumpeter Swan Conservation Ontario


In 1918 Joseph Grinnell wrote that trumpeter swans once bred in North America from northwestern Indiana west to Oregon in the U.S., and in Canada from James Bay to the Yukon and they migrated as far south as Texas and southern California.


In 1960 Winston E. Banko also placed their breeding range as far south as Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, northwestern Indiana, but in Michigan turned this line northwards, placing a hypothetical eastern boundary up through Ontario to western Quebec and the eastern shore of James Bay.

Formerly, the trumpeter swan occupied a breeding range over much of northern North America.By the early 20th century, they were facing extinction due to over-hunting. Hunting them was stopped by 1918.

By 1932 the total population was only 69 of which about 1/3 were at Lonesome Lake, BC. In 1933 the flock 19 Trumpeters at Lonesome Lake were being fed by homesteader Ralph Edwards.By the 1960’s it had grown to 400 or more

Links to the story & history of Ralph Edwards

Trumpeters were first identified in Alaska in 1850 but, it was not until 1954 that breeding trumpeters were discovered in there.

Ontario Trumpeter Restoration

Restoration Program began in Ontario in the 1980’s, led by Harry Lumsden.

He obtained eggs and birds from the Alaskan and Rocky Mountain populations.

They were placed with cooperative landowners to host them as captive breeding pairs.

The cygnets which were hatched and raised by the captive pairs were relocated to holding areas.

They were held for 2 years and then released to the wild at 53 different sites in Ontario.

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