The swan is one of the most powerful and ancient totems. Even the word swan is one of the oldest names in the English language, coming from the Anglo-Saxons. The swan is a symbol of peace and tranquility in literature, music, dance. For many cultures the white swan is a symbol of light, hope and beauty, like in The Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Anderson. Swans are closely associated with many Native American peoples.
It is actually connected to one of the most sacred mysteries of the Lakota/Dakota religion, in which the swan acts as a messenger of faith. In England, the swan is a symbol of loyalty and strength. Swan is a royal bird and it is even illegal to kill a swan in the United Kingdom.
There are three species of swans in North America. The Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan are indigenous. The mute swans were originally brought from Europe for their aesthetic value in the 1800s. In 1910, there were 500 mute swans, now an estimated 2,200 statewide, 1900 on Long Island.
Initially the plan of 2003 was to reduce the population to 500 by 2013. According to this plan Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan are good and Mute Swan has to be killed! The DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino said: “ They’re an aggressive, invasive species, To protect our own native species, the plan was necessary.” . Here are some quotes from the plan:
“…In the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, where populations have existed for many years, DEC will remove mute swans whenever opportunities arise, but priority will be given to reducing the number of birds where large numbers congregate and may be impacting coastal fish and wildlife species or habitats… Any mute swans removed will be euthanized or turned over to persons with suitable facilities and licensed to keep the birds in captivity…. Lethal control methods will include shooting of free-ranging swans and live capture and euthanasia in accordance with established guidelines for wildlife. Consideration will be given to donating the meat … to charitable organizations (e.g., food pantries) or scientific, educational or zoological institutions….. Non-lethal population control methods may include nest destruction, treating eggs with corn oil or puncturing to prevent hatching, and surgical or chemical sterilization”.
Comments on the draft mute swan plan may be submitted in writing through February 21, 2014 to: NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Swan Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by e-mail to email@example.com (please type "Swan Plan" in the subject line)
DEC Mute Swan Plan can be found here
The Petition “Stop New York State's Swan Killing Plan” named the plan “pathetic attempt at simplifying or reducing management to utter elimination of what's to be managed is a dereliction of duty and a crime against nature and public trust and a very grave cause for concern.”
Petition “Stop New York State's Swan Killing Plan” can be signed here.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ,the author of ”The Little Prince said: “ You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed”.
Kill the plan, not swans!
Sheepshead Bay bites: And Now They Want To Murder Sheepshead Bay’s Swans…”
Watch the movie that I made today, January 24 2014 on the beautiful bay!