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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds and State Programs Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.
Observers counted 593 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the U.S. Breeding Segment of the Rocky Mountain Population of trumpeter swans during fall of 2012, 23.5% increase from last years count (480). The number of white birds in the Tri-state region (381) increased from last year’s count of 354. The total number of cygnets increased 111.2%, from 89 in 2011 to 188 in 2012. Cygnet counts increased from 2011 by 140.0% and 150.0% for Montana and Idaho respectively, while Wyoming cygnet production increased by 40.5%. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) accounted for 7 swans this year which was 2 more than last year. Seventeen white birds were observed at the Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area which was the same as last year. Nevada counted 5 swans on this year’s survey which was a decrease of 66%. Precipitation throughout most of the Tri-state Area was 50% – 75% of normal during winter 2011 - 2012. During the summer months, temperatures were 1 – 3 oF warmer than average and precipitation was 25 – 50% of normal, especially during June - August. Palmer Drought Indices for areas within the Tri-state region declined for 2012.