Mute Swan - Irondequoit Bay Outlet - © Wes Boyce - January 16, 2015

Mute Swan – Irondequoit Bay Outlet – © Wes Boyce – January 16, 2015

Significant Changes Made to Plan as Result of Previous Public Comments

Plan Focuses on Protecting Wetland Habitats; Swans Can Remain in Urban Parks and Other Controlled Settings

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released a revised Mute Swan management plan with significant changes after considering the diverse public comments received on a first draft released in January 2014. DEC is accepting public comments on the revised plan through April 24.

The mute swan is a non-native, invasive species brought to North America to beautify estates in the late 1800s, but birds that escaped or were released established feral populations that are competing with native wildlife for aquatic food plants and nesting areas. The revised draft Management Plan for Mute Swans in New York State is available on the DEC website.

“Wildlife management can present challenges in trying to balance conflicting interests, such as when a beautiful bird has undesirable impacts,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “This revised plan remains committed to minimizing the impacts of Mute Swans on wildlife dependent on wetlands for their habitats, while being sensitive to public concerns about how and where that is accomplished.”

During the review process, DEC met with a variety of statewide stakeholder groups, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ducks Unlimited, NYS Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Humane Society of the U.S., NYS Conservation Council, NYS Invasive Species Advisory Committee and USDA Wildlife Services.