"Born With Music": Story of Trumpeter Swan Conservation With Meera Sulaiman- Artist and Photographer
“I have a wonderful dream where everyone values the preservation of nature and we are inspired to protect it.”
~Meera Sulaiman- Photographer, Artist, Lover of Wildlife
I had such a great time speaking with this week’s guest, Meera Sulaiman. It was like speaking to a long time friend, we have so much in common. Our conversation went on for well over an hour where we talked about our passions, Meera’s many projects and life. Because I wanted this episode to focus on the conservation of Trumpeter Swans, I edited out a piece of the conversation to include as a bonus track. Bonus track and interview audio can be found at www.beprovided.com/blog.
In this bonus track Meera talks about a current threat to Double-Crested Cormorants; they also need our help right now! This is worth listening to to learn more about these birds. If they are all killed off, the ecosystem of other water birds they form colonies with are negatively affected. Another reason why we should not mess with Mother Nature.
Meera Sulaiman is a Sri-Lankan born artist and photographer now living in Ontario, Canada. I was introduced to Meera’s beautiful photographs on Instagram, specifically her photographs of Trumpeter Swans. I knew I had to hear her story and learn more about these beautiful birds.
A few years ago as she approached La Salle Park, she heard loud chaotic trumpeting sounds like many horn musicians each blowing in a different pitch. As she approached the park she realized it was hundreds of Trumpeter Swans. (Meera included this wonder example of trumpeting! https://www.instagram.com/p/BrkfPQhBp8f/ . ENJOY!)
Meera’s curiosity led her to form relationships with Beverly Kingdon of the Trumpeter Swan Coalition and Harry Lumsden, leader of Trumpeter Swan restoration in Ontario. She soon found herself immersed in one of the greatest conservation stories in history. For more than 100 years, there were no trumpeters in the area until biologist Harry Lumsden and a group of volunteers began working on restoring these birds back to Eastern Canada in the 1980s. Presently there are an estimated 1000 swan individuals in the province with approximately 130 breeding pairs.
Enjoy Meera’s story and feel inspired by her work to promote the existence of these beautiful swans and other wildlife. In this episode, Meera tells us how she became involved, how she is inspired to educate the world about wildlife, how people can help in any way and what gives her hope. Here is the audio with the bonus track below along with her beautiful photographs.
How to find Meera:
Link to trumpeter swan conservation event pictures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDxqahXoWIIMy
Trumpeter Swan Photographs
Here is a story about the first photo below from Meera:
Aphrodite and Ares Family Trumpeter Swan Family, two adults and their eight offspring after sunset in Ontario, Canada. The two adults in this photograph is known by their tags as 131, the female also fondly called as Aphrodite, and the male R36 fondly named as Ares. Aphrodite is the only Trumpeter Swan on record anywhere that had managed to fledge 10 Cygnets in a single breeding year with her former mate 902, who has since passed away. It was also reported that Aphrodite and Ares got separated at the end of 2017 winter due to an illness with Aphrodite. Aphrodite after being nursed back to health was reported dating few swans that winter, and her partner Ares seemed to have moved on. However, it was reported this year that she is reunited with R36 and is back this year with her new family.
Image of Meera's Whispers Photography Project -Exploring the ambiguous, special, and poignant bond that ties young people with once-wild animals living out their lives in captivity.
BONUS AUDIO TRACK and PHOTOGRAPHS: Learn about the plight of the Double-Crested Cormorant, which need our help now!