Sure, they're graceful, they're fun to feed, and their babies are the cutest things...but they're also nasty poop machines that pollute the water and devour aquatic vegetation. So goes the battle between those who love mute swans (Cygnus olor) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and those who wish to preserve native plants and animals, even if it means euthanizing charismatic megafauna. The drama continues in Maryland, where wildlife officials have just gotten permission to resume their reduction of mute swan populations (see previous blog entry), now thought to have expanded to over 14,000 birds. According to this article from the Maryland Sun, animal rights' activists in that state continue to fight the extermination program. In New Jersey, as reported in the New York Times, officials are meeting opposition to their efforts to rid the state of more than 2500 Canada geese, whose presence has significantly reduced park usage by humans. The Hartford Courant is reporting that Connecticut is also getting into the geese-hating act, having just approved a law to allow any homeowners to kill Canada geese if they can prove they have exhausted all efforts to make them go away.
Thanks to members of the ALIENS-L listserver for posting links to these stories.