Whooper Swan ringing in Iceland – new collaboration

Group members are currently out in northern Iceland visiting our friend Sverrir Thorstensen and helping him with his annual Whooper Swan ringing. Since 1989, in collaboration with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), Olafur Einarsson and Eileen Rees, Sverrir has been colour-ringing swans as part of a long-term life history study. Recently WWT has made the decision to concentrate its conservation activity for waterbirds and their wetland habitats in other areas and no longer supports the long-term study.

Our trip to Iceland this year has been to help Sverrir with his annual ringing, and to discuss and look at ways the Waterbird Colour-marking Group can support the future ringing of Whooper Swans in Iceland. During the trip, the team visited various breeding sites and lakes holding moulting non-breeding swans, resulting in over 70 Whooper Swans caught. 

We leave Iceland with a collaborative plan to continue the ringing of Whooper Swans in the country that will allow us to monitor movements and assess the survival of this increasing population into the future. Collaborative work will commence in summer 2023 and more information will be available in due course.

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