Score one for swan fans.
A proposal to eradicate mute swans in New York State by killing them met such a backlash that New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Friday that it would consider nonlethal means to control the invasive birds.
Swans were introduced to the United States from Europe in the 19th century, but wildlife officials say the beautiful birds destroy habitat for native waterfowl and can attack ducks, geese and even people.
A draft management plan to wipe out the state’s entire population of swans was met with a fierce outcry when it was made public in January. The environmental conservation department received 16,000 form letters in protest, and 30,000 signatures on various petitions.