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Mute Swans: Friend or foe?

Posted by Matt Ryan on

Could it be the swan song for what was once the international symbol of world peace? 

In December, the Department of Environmental Conservation released a management plan for the state's mute swan population that immediately became controversial. The agency recommended eliminating the free-ranging birds saying they degrade the water quality, destroy submerged aquatic vegetation and are a potential hazard to aviation. The DEC points out the birds are "invasive," as they were brought over from Europe in the late 1800's for ornamental purposes. 

Tens of thousands wrote letters and signed petitions asking the agency to not go forward with their initial plan. Last month the DEC said they may very well revise the draft and said they will allow in some cases private ownership.  

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