Extinct Birds : Trumpeter Swan
The trumpeter swan, largest and rarest of the world's eight swan species, was once a common nesting bird in north, west, and central North America. It was hunted extensively by natives for food and feathers, and its numbers began to decline when a market developed in European settlements for its skin, feathers, down, and quills. The decline continued with the gradual loss of nesting, feeding, and wintering habitats, especially in the United States, to expanded land use. By the early 1900s, the bird's extinction was thought near. Now legally protected in Canada and the United States and provided with sanctuaries, its numbers have slowly increased through emergency winter feeding, habitat restoration, and controlled relocation of populations. Trumpeter swans presently number more than 5,000, of which about 500 pairs nest in Canada. Although still carefully monitored, they have been removed from the list of endangered species.