Trumpeter Swans

99 Counties | FIND Iowa
Jul 21, 2024 | 00:02:00

Why is it important to protect and preserve Iowa’s resources and environments?

At the Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge, swans are being protected from hunting by protecting and preserving resources and the environment.


Abby Brown:

For over a hundred years there were no swans in Iowa. Now there are hundreds!

This is Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Kossuth County, on the northern border of Iowa. It's the union of two watersheds and so flat from glacier activity it's been said that the water flows whichever way the wind blows. Ah yes, the perfect habitat for a swan. But this place wasn't always protected. As European settlers moved in, the water was drained and the swans were hunted. 1883 was the last time a swan was seen in Iowa for a very long time. In 1993 a mission was developed to bring back the swans. Mother swans and father swans were collected from all over and brought to Iowa. Baby swans have been hatching ever since. Scientists are placing bands on their necks and legs to keep track of where they go when they migrate. Union Slough, in Kossuth County, is now a protected wetland and prairie habitat as well as a wildlife and waterfowl refuge and is home to hundreds of species; including the magnificent trumpeter swan.

Every county in Iowa is on some sort of mission. Thanks for investigating Kossuth County with me.