International operation is launched for missing swan

The family of swans at Martin Mere
The family of swans at Martin Mere
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A family of swans at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre near Chorley has become the focus of an international tracking operation after leaving behind one of their cygnets in Ireland.

Over the summer, WWT’s Species Monitoring Assistant, Kane Brides spent time in Iceland monitoring and researching Whooper swans and Pink-footed geese on their breeding grounds. During this time a family of five swans were ringed at Engivtn in northern Iceland on August 4.

The missing cygnet

The missing cygnet

The family of birds later escaped the cold and arrived at the Lancashire reserve but with one of the cygnets missing. Staff assumed it had died during the migration but a cygnet has since been spotted in Ireland in December, which could be the missing bird.

The cygnet is currently at Inch Wildfowl Reserve in Ireland and is now as part of an international tracking operation between England, Ireland and Iceland to see if the swan reunites with its family either at WWT Martin Mere this winter or back in Iceland this Spring.