Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: mute swans in Iowa
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 31 August 2013
In Response To: mute swans in Iowa (John)

Hi John:

You will need to check with your local wildlife commission to determine if the swans can be hunted. Most states do not allow their hunting even if they are considered non-native.

There are many folks and entities which are still trying to fight this arbitrary designation of "non-native" species by wildlife officials since fossils found in four U.S. states show a close ancestry with the Mute Swan.

The reason that these birds are targeted is based upon little facts and misinformation generated because the birds offer little to no "hunting " benefit. Meaning, they are not a good food source and local and federal wildlife entities cannot make money off of them. Therefore, they are of no monetary benefit and seen as a nuisance.

States will blame them for eating too much aquatic vegetation, displacing local waterfowl and the reason that the Trumpeter Swan is not being allowed to flourish. Again, no facts and misinformation. If the Trumpeter Swan is successfully reintroduced, they will grow to such numbers that they will need to be hunted in future years and will allow for "revenue generated hunting" for a large trophy waterfowl.

The Mute Swan is a 30 lb bird that eats approximately 8 lbs of aquatic vegetation daily while the Trumpeter Swan weights 40 lbs and eats approximately 20 lbs of vegetation. The Mute is being culled across the U.S. based upon this fact and that they chase other waterfowl during nesting season. Guess what the Trumpeters and other waterfowl do during nesting season? The same behavior! So, do we wipe out all species because they may challenge the "hunting" revenue from state waterfowl hunting seasons?

In most areas, silt, lawn and street run-off are the reasoning behind aquatic vegetation displacement along with the run-off from animal farms. But, no one wants to blame the animal industry because it is a great source of revenue to the states and would take a tremendous amount of money to clean-up the wastes.

Most of the non-native species were listed in a quick agreement forged by the U.S. Wildlife officials to politicians with little research or input by opposing entities. This was done to allow many creatures to include, snakes, pelicans, cormorants, cardinals and other species to be lumped in one category and dispatched so that these "non revenue" generating species could be handled while "revenue" generated species could proliferate and fill someone's coffers.

The non-native species program is one of the most unbelievably non-researched based myths perpetuated on the American taxpayer. The amount of dollars to try and control these species which at this time is not succeeding and many think that it will not be handled until 10 years from now (which may or may not be the time frame to determine success) is monumental. In the times of budget cuts, the amount of money wasted in this process is mind-boggling. But, to say without reservation that these and many other species are non-native is an on-going discussion. Our bottom line is that many species were here as many as centuries ago, and trying to now control them is not only a waste of money but a waste of wildlife resources. Should we all be hunted because we are not "Native species"? The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

mute swans in Iowa -- John -- 31 August 2013
Re: mute swans in Iowa -- The Regal Swan -- 31 August 2013