Animal lovers are breathing a sigh of relief now that it looks like New York’s invasive mute swan population won’t be singing a swan song after all. According to the NY Times, public pressure has convinced the State Department of Environmental Conservation to revise their original plan of exterminating the beautiful but destructive animals.
The mute swan population was introduced to New York State in the late 1800s. Today, however, the aggressive water-fowl have become a nuisance for local wildlife, often destroying the habitats of native ducks and geese, polluting the waters, and attacking people.
The state DEC’s plan to eradicate almost all of the area’s 2,200 swans was announced in January of 2014, but was met with such public backlash from animal lovers that the organization was left to reconsider the severity of the proposal. But the revised version doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture for the animals’ future either.
Although the new plan pledges to use “nonlethal methods” when possible, the swan population will be strictly controlled using alternative techniques such as clipping the birds’ wings and oiling eggs so they won’t hatch. Using these methods, the DEC’s objective is to reduce the population to less than 800, the number of swans that existed before the animals began to multiply in the 1980s.
Additionally, the new proposal would allow private land owners and municipalities to apply for permits to keep the any existing swans on their property, as long as they are not allowed to reproduce. The DEC’s revised plan also calls for implementing educational programs that aim to teach the population about the hazards of mute swans.
Via NY Times