Target: Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation
Goal: Save New York’s mute swans from being killed off by 2025, and support humane methods of controlling the swan population
The New York swan population is in trouble. By 2025, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) plans to kill all mute swans that currently occupy New York. The reasoning behind this induced extinction is not soundly based on science: essentially the birds serve as a nuisance, so they must be decimated. The mass murder of New York’s swans cannot be allowed to happen.
Mute swans have called New York home since the early 1800’s. Immigrants brought the birds with them with the goal of adding to the beauty of the area; the birds are aesthetically pleasing and bring many New Yorkers great joy. The DEC has decided to eradicate the species due to reasons that are hard to stand behind: mute swans can be aggressive, and therefore pose a threat to humans; the swans feed on submerged aquatic vegetation in mass amounts which may prove to be detrimental to the ecosystem; and the swans inhabit more areas than they did in the past.
The DEC argues that during nesting, which lasts under two months, swans are particularly aggressive, causing people to stay away from the area and miss out on favored water sports. These issues can be dealt with in a humane way, without needing to kill the swans off entirely. People are entirely capable of avoiding nesting areas for a little longer than a month, once a year, without complaining about the birds. They should avoid these areas and appreciate nature. The DEC should help the birds by relocating some of them, educating people and controlling nesting areas, as well as planting alternative foods for the birds in order to save the submerged aquatic vegetation.
Urge the DEC to understand that extinguishing the birds entirely from New York is not the right answer to any problem. The birds deserve to live there and deserve to be respected. Sign this petition to save New York’s mute swans.
Dear Joseph Martins,
By the year 2025, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation plans to have killed all free-ranging mute swans. I am extremely disappointed by this proposal and do not support the decision to kill off an entire population of an animal for any reason. I urge you to reconsider this plan; killing all mute swans is not a solution, it is a barbaric and hasty wrong-doing.
Please consider transferring some mute swan populations to areas that are capable of handling their presence. Nesting season should not be a time to declare mute swans ‘dangerous,’ or a ‘nuisance to humans;’ rather, this should be a couple of months out of the year that nesting areas are secure and the birds are left alone with their young. People can abandon their water sports for this time and learn to appreciate nature. Consider public education about mute swans; promote coexistence rather than eradication.
If the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is indeed in trouble, alternatives need to be found. Ecosystems need to be able to thrive, but taking mute swans out of their ecosystem entirely has devastating effects, many that will not be known until it is too late. Try planting other foods that swans enjoy eating in an area with stable vegetation.
I urge you to consider these proposed options, and any others that do not endanger the mute swan population. Please do not make the grave mistake of killing this magnificent bird population.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dan Hutchison via Flickr