LEWISTON - During the weekend of March 24, two Tundra swans resting on Swartz Pond, a small wetland on the Whitebird Battlefield adjacent to Highway 95 near Whitebird, were illegally killed, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking information about the crime.
Anyone with information regarding this violation is encouraged to call IDFG, Idaho County Sheriff or the Citizens Against Poaching toll free number, 1-800-632-5999. There is a monetary reward and callers can remain anonymous.
Wildlife Biologist Miles Benker of Lewiston discovered the floating carcasses during a wildlife inventory on March 27. Both swans were shot with a rifle, and may have been shot from the old Whitebird road that passes near the pond.
"The people of Idaho should be outraged at this needless and wanton killing of these beautiful swans," Benker said. "All swans are protected in Idaho, and the people who did this have no regard for the law."
Two species of swans migrate across Idaho in the spring and fall. The largest and one of the rarest waterfowl species in the world is the Trumpeter swan. The smaller and more numerous cousin is the tundra swan, formerly known as the Whisling swan.
Many people enjoy these magnificent birds as they pass through the area. Often the small family flocks will stay and rest on area waters during their long journey. Many local ponds provide the birds welcome relief and the chance for birdwatchers to view them.