Save The Swans

Save The Swans

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The needless and tragic lead poisoning mass deaths of unsuspecting and defenseless trumpeter swans at Judson Lake were on full display this past winter (2020-2021). According to the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) joint preliminary observations, "We recorded 182 swan mortalities at Judson (130 intact, 52 feather piles)". Thank you CWS for the swift response!

Remember our past pleas for help?


The issue:

Trumpeter swans consume large amounts of plant and sediment material along with small pebbles (grit) to aid in the grinding of food in their gizzards. Trumpeter swans use their strong webbed feet to dig into the lake bottom for roots, shoots, and tubers, then plunge their heads and necks underwater to eat what they've dug up.

The unsuspecting swans arrive at Judson Lake in late October each year and mistake the toxic lead shot in the lake floor and tangled in pond lily roots for grit. By late November and into December, the death rate increases significantly.


Dying swan
Dying swan
Dying swan
Dying swan
Dying swan

"Symptoms of lead poisoning can appear as early as four days after ingestion of as few as two or three pellets, with death occurring in 17-21 days. If more pellets are ingested, less time may be required before mortality occurs (Lead Shot Poisoning in Swans: Pellets Within Whatcom County, WA and Sumas Prairie, BC, Canada, Mike Smith et al, 2009)".



It is commonplace for swans to be pulled out of Judson Lake with dozens of pellets in their gizzards.

It's Official →
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