January 3, 2009

Wisconsin swans and ospreys thriving

Wisconsin wildlife officials say osprey and trumpeter swan populations have recovered enough to be removed from the state's endangered species list.

The state's Natural Resources Board will to be asked to remove the birds from the list Jan. 27, said Sumner Matteson, an avian ecologist with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Matteson has been involved with osprey and swan recovery efforts for the better part of two decades, watching them come from near-extinction to become thriving communities, The Wisconsin State Journal reported Saturday.

Wisconsin now has 126 breeding pairs of trumpeter swans and more than 400 breeding pairs of ospreys, more than enough to sustain a healthy population, Matteson said.

Even if removed from the state lists, the birds still would be protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which bans hunting or shooting federally protected birds.