FWP Seeks Information On A Trumpeter Swan Shot South Of Dillon

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking information
related to the shooting of a trumpeter swan on Jan. 4 south of
Dillon near Poindexter Slough. Officials released the bird last
fall as part of a popular trumpeter swan restoration project
underway in the Blackfoot Valley since 2005.

“The loss of this bird is a blow to the many volunteers and
organizations working toward the restoration of the trumpeter swan
in the Blackfoot Valley,” said Tom Hinz, FWP wetlands coordinator,
in Bozeman. This is the second swan to be shot illegally since the
project began. Another was illegally killed in 2008 near
Helmville.

In the past four years, FWP, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and the Blackfoot Challenge have coordinated the release of 83
trumpeter swans in the Blackfoot Valley where thousands of
shallow-water areas provide habitat. Each bird is individually
marked with a red plastic collar and a series of white numbers and
letters identifying it. Over the course of the project, 17 of the
swans have been found dead from a variety of causes, including
contact with power lines, unknown and natural causes and the two
that were illegally shot.

“We hope to have our first pair of nesting trumpeter swans in
the Blackfoot this summer,” Hinz said.

“These recent losses are not expected to impact that goal, but
if they continue, the losses could substantially delay achieving a
self-sustaining, nesting flock of trumpeter swans in the
Blackfoot.”

The public is encouraged to call 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668),
or FWP Warden Rick Schmauch at 406-683-4258, with information about
the death of the trumpeter swan or activities that may relate to it
in the vicinity of Poindexter Slough on Jan. 4.

Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of
up to $1000 with the conviction of those responsible for this
crime.

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