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Swan Poachers Sought

State and federal authorities are interested in the identity of whoever shot four swans recently at Fish and Game's Market Lake Wildlife Management Area. Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Roberts in southeast Idaho has always had an abundance of wildlife. Native Americans and early settlers found such a bounty of wild game that they named the area "Market Lake." As Idaho grew, the area was placed under the management of Fish and Game to insure that both the needs of wildlife and the desires of sportsmen could continue to be met. Proper management of the area and all wildlife in general means scientifically based rules and regulations. Recently, someone chose to break both state and federal law by killing four tundra swans. On Saturday, November 11, senior conservation officer Lew Huddelston was patrolling the Main Marsh at the WMA and observed the small flock of tundra swans. On Sunday, November 12, the report came in that some dead swans had been found, and that an obviously injured swan was seen near the East Springs area at the WMA. Further investigation yielded the carcass of one tundra swan. Signs indicate that coyotes scavenged the other dead swans. Even though tundra swans are hunted in Utah and some other states, they are managed under and protected by both U.S. Federal and Idaho State law as a migratory species. Because of the flagrant nature of this poaching incident, the violators if found, face both state and federal civil and criminal charges. The hunting of tundra swans in Idaho is prohibited to help reduce the accidental hunting of relatively rare trumpeter swans. Distinction between the two swans is often difficult because of the overlap in size and coloration of the two birds, especially as juveniles. Fish and Game is looking for anyone who might have information helpful in tracking down whoever was responsible for the killing of these four protected birds. Information can be provided anonymously via the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Citizens providing useful information can receive cash rewards. So far this year, the CAP Hotline has already given out close to $12,000 in rewards. Annually, the total amount of rewards funded by donations from sportsmen range from $19,000 to $24,000.