By David Draper
For whatever reason, swans are one of those touchstone species that people get sentimental about. Regarded as a symbol of serene beauty, they can actually be quite aggressive, damaging to the vegetation, and dangerous to aircraft. Mute swans are also a non-native species, having been brought to the U.S. in the late 1800s. In an effort to protect the public and restore balance to the ecosystem, New York recently announced plans to eliminate the state’s population of more than 2,000 wild mute swans, reports Yahoo News.
“Ever since US Airways flight 1549 collided with a flock of geese in 2009 and landed on the Hudson river, the US Department of Agriculture has set about annually culling Canada geese. Now the New York state conservation department wants to expand the offensive and eliminate free-ranging mute swans by 2025, killing them or allowing 'responsible ownership' of the birds in captivity."