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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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November 05, 2018
Contact: Kyle Spragens, 360-902-2522

Hotline available to report
dead, sick, or injured swans

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has re-established a hotline to report dead, sick, or injured swans in northwest Washington counties as part of its ongoing effort to assess the impact of lead poisoning on trumpeter and tundra swans.

People can call (360) 466-4345, ext. 266, to report dead, sick or injured swans in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, and other western Washington counties. Callers should be prepared to leave a short detailed message including their name and phone number, location and condition of the swans.

The hotline is available 24 hours a day through the end of March.

Some trumpeter and tundra swans in those three counties – and in southwestern British Columbia – die each winter from lead poisoning after ingesting lead in areas where they feed.

Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting in Washington since 1991. But swans can still pick up and ingest lead shot while foraging in shallow underwater areas, in fields and roosts where lead shot is still present.

Swans are also vulnerable to collisions with power lines.

People who observe dead, sick, or injured swans are advised not to handle or collect the birds, said Daniel Zimmerman, WDFW biologist.

Instead, people should call the hotline, he said. WDFW and Puget Sound Energy employees, as well as volunteers from the Northwest Swan Conservancy Association, will pick up the birds.

WDFW and other agencies and organizations have been working since 2001 to locate sources of toxic lead and minimize potential exposure through management actions.