Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 11 January 2016
Mute Swans are being targeted by federal and state wildlife officials and their hunting stakeholders Ducks Unlimited, National Audubon Society and Cornell University. Yes, you read correctly, Audubon and Cornell that receive along with Ducks Unlimited, as well as Nature Conservancy millions of dollars in government grants annually. The purpose is to perpetuate hunting. Mute Swans are being killed and mutilated at taxpayer expense in order to open their wetland habitats so that the larger Trumpeter Swans can be introduced for Trophy Waterfowl hunting. Trophy Waterfowl hunting permits bring in more dollars and maintain current or attract future hunters so that wildlife coffers can be filled. This is conservation in the US by taxpayer funded wildlife agencies. Forget the non-hunting majority, they cater to the hunting minority.
Yes, Mute Swans will be left to die or euthanized due to certain state and federal wildlife agencies deeming them as non native and invasive. This is total misrepresentation as the Mute Swans have been shown to be native from fossils found throughout the US. They are not an invasive species, but rather a Sentinel species that alerts scientists to problems in the environment.
These same wildlife officials ignore current scientific research, spew falsehoods and label the Mute Swans as invasive and overpopulated. Neither statement is true as there has never been an environmental impact assessment in the US prior to this false labeling. There has never been a systemic collaborative count in the U.S and current counts are inaccurate. Mute Swans would not be seen as endangered due to their populations throughout the world.
Another point is that in the late 60's, scientists throughout the world were asked at the behest of the US government to name a species to be designated as the International Symbol of World Peace. The world chose the Mute Swan, yet in 70 countries that it is found, the US is the only country that kills them.
Mute Swans have reddish orange bills which distinguish them from other swan species. You need to ask wildlife rehabbers in your area if they are allowed to help Mute Swans.
The Regal Swan