North American Trumpeter Swan Conference is on its way ~ Register now!

The North American Trumpeter Swan Society’s 24th Annual Conference will be held in Duncan November 16th to 18th, 2016


Trumpeter Swans – Barry Hetschko

“This is a very special event for the Cowichan Valley” says Paul Fletcher, President of Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, who goes on to say “experts in swan research and management from throughout North America will be coming to our community. We are honoured to be able to partner with The Trumpeter Swan Society (TTSS) to bring this important event to the valley and to hold it in the Cowichan Tribe’s beautiful Quw’utsun’ Culture and Conference Centre.”

The trumpeter swan, the largest waterfowl in North America once flourished across much of North America. By 1900 they were nearly extinct. In recent decades, Trumpeters have begun a wonderful recovery due to the partnerships and passion of many people, organizations and agencies, with the expert technical support of the TTSS.

TTSS has been North America’s leader of Trumpeter Swan conservation since 1968. For nearly 50 years, TTSS has played a pivotal role in the resurgence of the trumpeter swan population by providing expert science based technical support in most of the major restoration programs. “TTSS’s vibrant “swan network” of researchers, swan managers, and biologists have gathered and shared the best science based information and research to help bring back the Trumpeter Swan in areas where they have not been seen in more than a century,” said Margaret Smith, Executive Director of The Trumpeter Swan Society.

The result of all these efforts is reflected in the continued recovery of the Trumpeter Swan population to an estimated 46,000 in 2010. “But the trumpeter swan population is not out of the woods yet” says Fletcher. “The swans face several threats including climate change, loss of habitat, new diseases, lead poisoning and loss of winter habitat which brings us to the Cowichan Valley,” Fletcher goes on to say. “The overwintering population of trumpeter swans in the Cowichan valley has been trending upwards over the years and has been as high as 1,000 in recent years which is why we chose Swans and Agriculture. Working together as the theme for this year’s conference.

Trumpeter Swans – Barry Hetscko

This theme holds special significance as concerns expressed by local farmers over crop depredation has grown in lockstep with the overwintering swan population in the Cowichan Valley as swans are moving into farmers’ fields as the food supply is exhausted on their former marsh and wetland feeding grounds. A feature of this year’s conference will be a panel discussion on Wednesday evening on November 16th; the panel will include an impacted farmer, swan researchers and wildlife managers.

In addition, there will be an all day field trip on November 17, and a Gala Banquet on Friday, November 18, with keynote speaker Robert Bateman, one of Canada’s most renowned wildlife artists.

Robert Bateman at Ford Lake – Brigit Freybe Bateman

The TTSS Annual Conference will be of interest to people from all walks of life from those who just marvel at the sheer magnificence of these birds to farmers, students researchers, grad students and educators. We encourage people to register early for this conference: to obtain more information about the conference follow this link. Prices on the TTSS website are in American Dollars. To register through the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society in Canadian Dollars please follow this link and click on the individual events in the calendar:

Click here for the draft progam for the conference: draft-swan-conference-program



Paul Fletcher, 250 732-0462, 

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