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NY's plan to silence mute swans forever

Mute swan's have been in New York since the 1800's.
Mute swan's have been in New York since the 1800's.
Diana Duel

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has announced plans to eradicate all wild mute swans by 2025, citing them as “an invasive species that is both a danger to “native” plants and birds, harming water quality and being aggressive towards humans.”

The beautiful, graceful birds were first introduced to the state in the 1800’s and have delighted families at local parks throughout the state, especially on Long Island, which has the largest population of approximately 2,200 birds.

The move has raised the ire of local animal advocates, including the Nassau SPCA.
“The mute swans should not be eliminated,” stated group spokesman Gary Rogers. “We have brought these animals here and we have a responsibility to find a way to better manage them better.”

The DEC has also proposed using both surgery and chemical methods to sterilize the swans, as well as coat their eggs with oil to prevent hatching.

Residents have until January 31 to make their opinions known regarding the proposal.

In the meantime, Federal and local officials have confirmed the plan deer cull planned for next month on the east end of Long Island, in which USDA hired sharpshooters are expected to kill 3,000 animals. The cull is not open to private hunters.

According to Martin Lowney, director of the USDA’s Wildlife Services program, the agency has spent two decades trying to develop birth control for deer, but has been basically unsuccessful, and estimated that with a population of around 30,000 deer it would cost nearly “$30 million to sterilize 15,000 does every two years.”

The animals have been blamed for everything from spreading Lyme disease to car accidents, as well as destroying local agriculture.

Readers who wish to make their opinions known regarding both kill programs can contact the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation at 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-0001 518 402-8044.

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