17 February 2014, 11:55 am by Mike Risinit
State Sen. Tony Avella wants to establish a two-year moratorium on New York’s plan to eliminate all mute swans in the wild by 2025 and limit a few to captive situations like parks and zoos.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation proposed such a plan last month, explaining the long-necked white birds are an invasive species that are destroying natural habitats and harming native waterfowl. The measure has garnered petitions and public opposition, although it is supported by the National Audubon Society and other conservation organizations.
About 2,200 mute swans live in New York, according to the state, up from fewer than 700 in the 1970s. They are descended from birds brought from Europe in the 1800s to grace estates, wildlife experts say.