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Issues Of The Environment: Managing Invasive Mute Swans In Michigan Waters

Apr 26, 2017

Swans on a lake are typically a beautiful sight, but one breed of swan has been disrupting Michigan's ecosystem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Holly Vaughn, Wildlife Communications Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, about the management of invasive mute swans.


Overview

   *   Mute swans, a non-native species introduced from Europe, have become a concern for the trumpeter swan (which is native and a state-threatened species).  In recent years, trumpeter swans have made a good comeback in our area.  However, the mute swan population has not been in check, and they compete for resources.

   *   This summer, the Dexter area is working with the DNR to conduct active management of mute swans that includes oiling the eggs so that they don't hatch and euthanizing some adults.

   *   There has been little outcry over the swan culling in our area, and most residents who live on these lakes support the control efforts.  But a Michigan-based Facebook group, “Save Our Swans,” does exist.

   *   Holly Vaughn, Wildlife Communications Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, says the MDNR provides management services to communities who ask for the service.  A township resolution is needed or 70% of landowners on the lake must be in favor.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu