MUTE SWAN with Cygnet on board
©Ursula Dubrick Photography
These swans are common in the United States, Canada and across Europe. Despite its Eurasian origin, the Mute Swan’s closest relatives are the Black Swan of Australia and the Black-necked Swan of South America, not the other Northern Hemisphere swans. The species is monotypic with no living subspecies.
The Mute Swan was introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, primarily for its ornamental value. Recently, it has been widely viewed as an invasive species because of its rapidly increasing numbers and impacts on other waterfowl and native ecosystems. For example, a study of population sizes in the lower Great Lakes from 1971 to 2000 found that Mute Swan numbers were increasing at an average rate of at least 10% per year, doubling the population every seven to eight years. Several studies have concluded that Mute Swans severely reduce densities of submerged vegetation where they occur.
In 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to “minimize environmental damages attributed to mute swans” by reducing their numbers in the Atlantic Flyway to pre-1986 levels, a 67% reduction at the time.
According to the 2003 Federal Register the proposal was supported by all thirteen state wildlife agencies which submitted comments as well as by 43 bird conservation, wildlife conservation and wildlife management organizations. Ten animal rights organizations and the vast majority of comments from individuals were opposed. At this time Mute Swans were protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act due to a court order, but in 2005 the United States Department of the Interior officially declared them a non-native, unprotected species. Mute Swans are protected in some areas of the U.S. by local laws, as for example in Connecticut.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mute_Swan
Other posts you may like:
Swan Cygnet - Baby Steps
Swan Early Morning
Mom and Cygnets
“Mom’s Love” By Ursula Dubrick