Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014 7:08 pm
By MICHAEL MILLER Staff Writer
LOWER TOWNSHIP — Ponds across South Jersey are being overrun this year by mute swans, graceful, white birds that glide over the water like sailboats.
As many as 40 of the giant swans have been counted this summer at Cape May Point State Park. Many others have taken up residence at ponds across the state.
Now, New Jersey Audubon says state wildlife managers might have to intervene to protect freshwater habitat for migratory waterfowl that depend on it each winter.
“They are beautiful birds. Nobody is arguing about that,” said Mike Crewe, of Lower Township, program director at the Cape May Bird Observatory.
“But they’re increasing year on year,” he said. “That’s why it’s going to come to a head.”
Crewe said mute swans, which are considered a nonnative species, damage habitat that migratory waterfowl need to survive the winter in New Jersey.