Sunday, May 25, 2003

Swans: regal birds of beauty, or nasty invasive species?

The debate over mute swans (Cygnus olor) continues, having now spread to Massachusetts. As reported in today's Boston Globe, some residents of Plum Island were alarmed to discover that for the past twelve years, workers in the wildlife sanctuary regularly "thin the ranks" of swans to keep them from scaring off native birds and consuming massive quantities of aquatic plants. At issue is exactly which creatures deserve the "Refuge" in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. If you don't feel like reading the whole article, at least have a look at the resident quotes at the bottom of the page. You can also read about the mute swan hysteria in Maryland by clicking over to this previous blog entry.

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