There are several stories that people love to brag about whether its coming face to face with a bear or stumbling upon a mountain lion and even surviving a pack of wolves that were surrounding you on a camping trip. There are tons of videos on YouTube that you can watch and entertain yourself with, but what about Swans? No one comes into work and brags about how they got their a$$ kicked by a Mute Swan over the weekend while walking their dog at the park, or on the golf course with your friends like the man below!
Like all great ideas when it comes to America, a bunch of rich people thought “hey let’s bring these Giant majestic birds from Europe to swim in our pond and decorate the park with” which has led to another invasive species taking over things they should not. All the Mute Swans in North America you see today actually descended from swans imported from the mid-1800s through early 1900s to adorn large estates, city parks, and zoos. Escapees established breeding populations and are now established in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Pacific Northwest of the U.S.
According to the DNR there are three major problems with mute swans; they are a threat to humans, wildlife, and destruction of wetlands. First, mute swans have little fear of humans, and they are also quite large, massive to be exact and boy are they NASTY! (Meet Mr. Nasty. Click Here) Every year the DNR gets multiple reports of swan attacks both on shore and in boats and other watercraft on the water. Swans get especially aggressive when they are nesting or protecting their young. And yes, they have killed humans!
In April of 2012, a Chicago man was kayaking in a pond at his local park in Des Plains, Illinois. Suddenly his kayak was toppled over by a swan that had been laying still in the weeds over its nest. The Swan continued to attack the man several times as he fought to stay above water which ultimately led to him drowning and the swan swimming off back to the nest. Do not believe me? For the full story click here.
Mute swans are also detrimental to wildlife, as they are the most aggressive waterfowl species. They will attack, injure, and possibly kill other waterfowl for nesting or feeding grounds. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reported three pairs of captive swans killed over 50 ducks and geese in a zoo. There are many threatened waterfowl in states like Michigan, Ohio, and New York that are in danger of disappearing due to mute swans, one of which is the trumpeter swan. The trumpeter swan population is on the rise, but the mute swan population is also on the rise and threatening the native swan breeding programs.
Mute Swans in every state are protected and may not be harmed or handled without authorization from your state Wildlife Agency. Even though they are considered an invasive species and a nuisance you still must obtain special permits and authorization to do so.
LOOMACRES WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT CAN HELP!
There are several management and harassment practices used in handling these notorious bully birds! We have years of experience helping clients take back their wetlands, ponds, and lakes from Nuisance Swans. For more information fill out the fields below and one of our Wildlife Biologist will reach out to you shortly with a free consultation.
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