There will be no swan song for the mute swans of New York City. Mute swans won’t face being slaughtered, thanks to their vocal fans, who roundly criticized a proposal to keep the invasive mute swan population of New York City under control through killing the beautiful birds.
Fans of the mute swans have kept the necks of the swans off of the chopping block, for now, anyway. On Friday, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced it wold take nonlethal measures to control the surging population growth of these creatures of ballets, fairy tales, and fantasies.
Swans are not native to the United States. They were brought to the country from Europe sometime during the 19th century. Though the birds are beautiful, they are also destructive to the native populations of birds in America. They have been known to atack geese, ducks, and sometimes people. Also, they have played a part in destroying the wildlife habitats for birds which are native to the United States.
In January, the draft management plan to eradicate New York City’s entire swan population became a very controversial and vocal way for the New York City public to voice their opinions and let their position opposing the slaughter of the mute swans to be heard.
How did the public react to the plan to slaughter the mute swans?
The public reacted to the plan to “control” the swan population through the “modest proposal” of killing them, by expressing their displeasure over Internet sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Also, the fans of the 2,200 mute swan swans didn’t like the idea that the birds might be about to be killed so much that they initiated a write-in campaign to save them. The environmental conservation department and their plan to slaughter the swans of the city was met with over 16,000 form letters from people protesting that move. What’s more, fans of the mute swans signed over 30,000 signatures on various petitions to try to make their voices heard and keep the swans safe.
One of the potential measures that are under consideration to curb the mute swan population is to oil their eggs. this would make the eggs not hatch. While this might be a small bit better than killing the birds once they are hatched, it still involves cutting the population of the mute swans through killing them while they’re unborn, inside of their eggs.
This won’t be the end of the plan to eradicate the mute swans, however. New York City will open the proposal up again this spring, and allow a 30-day period of time for the public to issue comments, and the lives of the mute swans will be the subject of much media attention once again. For now, at any rate, the mute swans are safe.
Written by: Douglas Cobb