Beginning in 1968, and every five years since 1975, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been performing aerial censuses of interior Alaska's summering (presumably) Trumpeter Swan population. Kanuti Refuge has participated in the census since 1985.  From 1990–2020, swan pairs in the Refuge have increased 657%.  A recent supplemental nest survey suggests that 95% of Kanuti’s swan pairs are now Trumpeters (up from ~60% Trumpeters circa 1990). Kanuti’s breeding Tundra Swan populations appeared to have changed little between 1990 and 2020.

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Kanuti Refuge's Trumpeter Swan Population: "Brought Back" or Not, It's Booming

Swan population changes in Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge.



A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.


Kanuti Flats aerial view with spotted bodies of water.
The Athabascan name for Kanuti is "Kk'toonootne" which translates to "well traveled river by both man and animals." Kanuti Refuge is about the size of the state of Delaware and straddles the Arctic Circle, with approximately a third of the Refuge above the Circle and two-thirds below it. Kanuti...