Atlantic Flyway Council Mute Swan Policy

Atlantic Flyway Council and Technical Section
Recommendation No. 25

Initiated By: The Snow Goose, Brant, and Swan Committee

Subject: Mute Swan Policy


That the Atlantic Flyway Council adopt a policy to control mute swans in the Atlantic Flyway. The policy would endorse the following actions:

  1. State and provincial wildlife agencies, if they do not already have the authority, should seek to gain authority over the sale and possession of mute swans and their eggs.

  2. The sale of mute swan adults, young or their eggs should be prohibited.

  3. States should seek to eliminate all importing and exporting of mute swans without a special purpose permit issued by the state wildlife agency.

  4. Mute swans captured due to nuisance complaints, sickness, or injury should be removed from the wild or be euthanized.

  5. Egg addling programs where feasible should be encouraged.

  6. Both state and federal wildlife agencies should institute programs to prevent the establishment and/or eliminate mute swans.

  7. States and provinces should seek to make the mute swan an unprotected species if this is not already the case.

  8. States should strive to manage mute swan populations at levels that will have minimal impacts on native wildlife species or habitats.

Arguments in Support:

  1. Population growth and range expansion of this species has increased the number of swan related problems.

  2. There is a documented case in Maryland of mute swans preventing the nesting of black skimmer and least tem, a state listed and threatened species.

  3. They have been documented to consume large amounts of aquatic vegetation impacting food availability for native species.

  4. In the absence of population control, mute swans could eventually become established throughout the flyway. Until the impacts of this species on native wildlife and their habitats are better understood, mute swans in the Atlantic Flyway should be reduced or limited as closely as possible to present levels.

Arguments in Opposition:
  1. Valued for its aesthetic qualities the mute swan has become popular with the public.

Attachments: None

Action by TS: None - Council Generated Date: 8/1/97

Approved by: Chairman, Atlantic Flyway Council Date: 8/1/97

Maryland Mute Swan Task Force Recommendations
Atlantic Flyway Mute Swan Survey-1999
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