If you live in Minnesota, you could be forgiven for not knowing that the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) is protected under the Endangered Species Act. The now ubiquitous icon of inland lakes was nearly extinguished from the lower 48 by 1930. A reintroduction program that began with twenty-one two-year old swans and 50 eggs from Alaska, was all the state needed for the species to be reestablished throughout its former range. The conservation effort that began in 1987 with a modest seeding of swans and protective status from the Endangered Species Act, has allowed the swan population to expand to more than 6000 individuals. While ever present in Minnesota, this giant of waterfowl species remains a rare sighting across most other regions of the United States.
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