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DNR Raises and Releases Swans to Rebuild Population

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JACKSON COUNTY, Iowa - The state DNR raises and releases young trumpeter swans each year, trying to increase their population. Tuesday, the DNR released two yearling swans.

It happened at the Green Island Wildlife Area in Jackson County. The baby birds were raised from a captive pair of swans at the Hurstville Interpretive Center in Maquoketa. The DNR has been doing this since 1995 and has released more than a thousand one and two year old swans. This was done to rebuild the swan population in Iowa which was down to zero in the mid to late 1800s.

"They were hunted for their meat, for their feathers, their eggs were collected. All those things contributed to the decline in Iowa," Ann Burns with Jackson County Conservation said.

The last known wild nesting pair prior to 1998 was in 1883 in Hancock County. Now, there are 46 known pairs in the state.