October 8, 2019
Swans of Significance
- as seen by -Samantha Gaeta jmaher
In the last two breeding seasons for trumpeter swans, Cygnus buccinator, WCS’s Bronx Zoo has successfully hatched four swan cygnets. During the fall of 2018, the first cygnet, a little female, was shipped to Iowa’s Trumpeter Swan Release Program. The young swan stays in a soft release 80 acre enclosed area for a full year to adjust to the change of the seasons and to familiarize herself with the great outdoors of the Midwest. She is to be released into the wild in May 2020.
In June of 2019, the same adult swan pair successfully hatched three additional cygnets (above). DNA sexing confirmed all three cygnets are male. Two of the young male swans will be part of the same protocol as their older sister in Iowa preparing for their release into the wild.
As for the third male, he has an important job to do for the Species Survival Plan, a conservation program by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums where AZA and member institutions work cooperatively toward the long-term survival of species. He will be going to WCS’s Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn and one day may have cygnets of his own. In the future, WCS hopes to continue to provide young swans for the release program and possibly have multiple pairs breeding at WCS zoos.