DNR to reduce population of mute swans - WNEM TV 5

DNR to reduce population of mute swans

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FENTON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is coordinating an effort to reduce the population of an invasive species.

The mute swan is considered an invasive species brought to Mid-Michigan from Europe. They pose serious threats, not only to other waterfowl across the state but to people and pets as well.

"Honestly, they don't bother no pontoon, no boats, only jet skis. You should see what they do to the jet skis," said Raad Kouza, Fenton Township resident.

From a distance the orange beaked mute swans are a beautiful sight, but people who live along Lake Fenton said don't get too close or they get ugly.

"It's just like they want to attack you. You know their wings go up, oh my God," Kouza said.

The mute swans are aggressive and they are invading the ecosystem. The all white bird was brought to Michigan in 1919. Since then the birds have escaped captivity and grown in population.

The city said the mute swans are not creating major problems yet, but could become an issue down the road.

Public Works Director Daniel Czarnecki said they will have a plan in place if that happens.

"Earlier this spring we have a couple pair out here and they've kind of disappeared for now. But we need to monitor it if they are going to have little ones that we get to them before they hatch so we don't get an infestation of these non-native swan in our community," Czarnecki said.

With the permission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the city can start rounding up eggs and destroying nests to try to limit the mute swan numbers.

In Fenton Township it will be left up to the lake associations to come up with a plan for swan control. In the city that's where city officials will be evaluating their options to see how they can tackle the problem over the next month.

The short term goal is to reduce mute swan population growth statewide to zero. A longer term goal is to reduce Michigan's total mute swan population to less than 2,000 by 2030.

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