USFWS updates information on ‘swan’ poaching case in west-central Minnesota – Outdoor News

Bloomington, Minn. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday provided additional details on a poaching case involving more than a dozen swans found dead in Stevens County in west-central Minnesota last month.

On Tuesday the agency said 15 dead swans were discovered on private property in Stevens County. The property is near the intersection of 260th Street and 520th Ave, near the southwest corner of Lamprecht Waterfowl Production Area.

Part of the Morris Wetland Management District, the USFWS-managed WPA lies a few miles southwest of the city of Morris.

The agency still has not identified the specific species of swans, the killing of the which occurred between December 16 and 17, 2023.


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The birds presumably were trumpeter swans, which the state has re-established across a wide swath of Minnesota during the past 40 years. Residents and waterfowlers in western Minnesota reported seeing large numbers of trumpeters in the region this past fall.

Migratory tundra swans rarely stop in western Minnesota during their migration south from the Arctic to the East Coast. The Mississippi River border region sees large numbers of tundra swans each autumn.

Again, the USFWS would not confirm the specific species, but both are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

A third and rare species, European mute swans, are classified as a regulated invasive species in the state – legal to possess but not released.

The USFWS still requests that anyone with information about the poaching contact USFWS Special Agent Andrew Daiber at [email protected].

“We are responsible for protecting America’s wildlife from poaching, illegal commercialization and other kinds of wildlife crime. …we also depend on tips from concerned citizens. People just like you step up and share information that helps us protect everything from native turtles and pallid sturgeon to bald eagles and white-tailed deer,” the agency said in a press release.

Citizens may be eligible for a monetary reward if information leads to an arrest or a conviction in the case.

The western border of Stevens County lies roughly 20 miles east of South Dakota. Its county seat is Morris.