Trumpeter Swan Reintroduction

Prior to European settlement, it is probable that the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) resided in Ontario. In 1982, the restoration program began with swan eggs collected from Grande Prairie, Alberta. The program was later revitalized with an increase of Alaskan birds into Ontario. The birds are fed after release and eventually disperse at maturity. Since 1996, wild swans have nested at the Toronto Zoo. In 2008, Weston Pond was graced with 4 cygnets from a wild pair that again returned. In total, over 60 trumpeter swans have been born at the Toronto Zoo.

The Toronto Zoo is one of several release sites for immature birds. Presently, the population has increased to 1000+ free-flying birds in southern Ontario. At this time, it is estimated that at least 80 pairs went to nest. As of yet, the total number of fledglings has not been determined. Prospects for a successful restoration are good despite continued problems encountered with lead poisoning resulting from the ingestion of spent shotgun shells and fishing weights.