Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 4 February 2017
Mute swans pose a serious threat to the environment. The lake in my local park has no waterfowl at all because mute swans are there and scare away all the other birds. However, just a mile northwards, there are so many birds and waterfowl in another pond.
It is heartbreaking how there are so many mute swans damaging the ecosystem of the pond in Cape May Point State Park, which is supposed to be the birdwatching capital of North America. There would surely be a lot more native birds if the mute swans were removed.
I don't know why there is any opposition to the killing of these birds that do so much damage to the ecosystem. There is no difference between killing a swan and eating chicken, except that killing a swan benefits the environment while raising a chicken for food only harms it. I, however, am vegetarian, and the best solution I can come up with is relocating all the swans to a nearby farm, clipping their wings so they can't escape, giving them food, and preventing them from reproducing.
I hope that the problem of these swans is solved so that we birders can continue enjoying the beautiful wildlife NJ has to offer.