I am currently fighting a battle that I do not want to lose.
Here in Michigan, there is a quest to shoot and kill adult Mute Swans in order to diminish their numbers to "control" the population. My focus is on a lake, White Lake, Michigan.
Headed by Jeff Auch, Muskegon Conservation District, they are proposing a cull of up to 300 swans.
"Mute swans are an invasive non-native species that pose a growing threat to native animals, habitat and people. Invasive species are non-native species that become established, spread widely and cause harm to an ecosystem. Invasive species compete with native species for food and habitat, and can directly or indirectly kill or displace native species, degrade habitat and alter food webs."
(This statement is copied from Fruitland Township E-news back in January 2012.)
Statement including input from Jeff Auch:
"As the Mute swan population continues to grow in Michigan, the damage and conflicts they create have long-term effects. Mute swans are one of the world's most aggressive waterfowl species, especially during nesting and brood-rearing when they often exhibit aggression toward both humans and other waterfowl. The swans can displace native waterfowl from their nesting and feeding areas by attacking, injuring and even killing other birds. In Michigan, of particular concern are native breeding waterfowl and water birds such as trumpeter swans (state threatened), ducks, common loons (state threatened) and black terns (state special concern).
Auch commented, “What most people don’t realize is that we have a native species of swan, the Trumpeter swan, which should be on White Lake. The Trumpeter is just as charismatic as the Mute, but breeding success of the Trumpeter swan and other waterfowl has been severely threatened by the Mute Swan.”
"The Mute Swan control program, several years in the making, is proposed to begin at the end of January. Overall, the program will utilize a series of measures to control Mute swan populations with the main focus being the elimination of adults. Because of high reproductive potential and long life span most of the alternative control methods such as nest and egg destruction are not very effective or efficient in reducing populations. The Conservation District will work with USDA-Wildlife Services staff and utilize firearms to cull adult swans on White Lake."
I have attended two meetings so far and have continued to argue the affects the human population has on the ecosystem here and importance in investigating that more than focusing on the swans.
Here is a link to learn about the concerns on White Lake: http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/aoc/whtlake.html
To fight this and possibly overturn it I need scientific statements that argue the statements above. Is there such evidence?
All of the evidence that The Muskegon Conservation District is offering is from the Chesapeake Bay "scientific" studies, and hence does not relate to the exact ecosystem here and its human conflicts.
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