Neighbor Philip Mahin shares this photo he took of birds at the icy lake in Prospect Park on Friday afternoon. In 2025, the view might be a bit different, though, as New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation has drafted a management plan to eliminate all mute swans in the state by that year.
A non-native, invasive species that the DEC says “can cause a variety of problems, including exhibiting aggressive behavior towards people, destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation, displacement of native wildlife species, degradation of water quality and potential hazards to aviation.” The proposed plan would allow mute swans to be shot or euthanized, sterilized, or placed in a zoo, and would prohibit the sale, importation, transport, or introduction of the species in New York.
Much like its response to the geese that were rounded up and exterminated in Prospect Park a few years ago, GooseWatch NYC has come out against this plan, and has an online petition stating that “these creatures should be protected, not slaughtered.” The DEC is accepting comments on the draft plan through January 31.
What do you think — should the mute swan population be eliminated, or should they be left alone?