Albert Park Lake supports a permanent population of around 150 swans. We have tagged around half of the birds with numbered neck collars, which allow us to recognise individuals and track their movements and fate over time.
As part of our research program, we routinely conduct censuses of the lake to determine which individuals are present and absent. This helps us to build up a picture of how long the birds spend at the lake, and whether they are still alive. At regular intervals we also capture birds. This allows us to take small blood samples for DNA analysis, or to measure levels of hormones that are good indicators of health or stress. We also weigh and measure the birds to learn more about their condition and rates of growth.