Swift Ranch Trumpeter Swan Summer Habitat Enhancement
Through the efforts of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, the Swift Ranch Trumpeter Swan habitat enhancement project adjacent to the New Fork River near Boulder, Wyo., was completed in 2012.
A nearly 6-acre wetland pond was excavated along the river corridor within a major swan flyway to provide additional shallow water foraging and nesting habitat. In addition, two floating islands were constructed and installed on the existing 73-acre Swift Ranch Reservoir to provide a secure nesting and loafing area. The pond and islands should help establish a sustainable nesting population of Trumpeter Swans in a new area, fulfilling a WGFD Green River Basin Trumpeter Swan range expansion project goal.
The WLCI previously provided funding for the 2008 Rimfire Ranch Trumpeter Swan pond project when a cluster of four shallow water ponds were completed near Cottonwood Creek south of Daniel, Wyo. Two other wetland ponds were created through other funding sources at the Budd Ranch west of Big Piney, Wyo., and at the Duck Creek Ranch north of Pinedale, Wyo.
These types of shallow water wetlands are extremely rare in southwestern Wyoming and provide habitat for a large variety of birds and mammals spring through fall. These projects have created additional summer habitat that is in limited supply for the Trumpeter Swan, a species of conservation concern, and many other species identified as potential species at risk in Wyoming’s State Wildlife Action Plan.
Over 20 possible projects to increase swan summer habitat in southwest Wyoming have been identified by the WGFD in the state wildlife grant study: Wyoming Green River Basin Trumpeter Swan Project (2005). Local landowners have shown increasing interest in forming partnerships to create shallow water habitat ponds.