Mute Swans in Maryland:
A Statewide Management Plan
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife and Heritage Service
April 14, 2003
POSITIVE VALUES AND USE
For centuries, mute swans have symbolized beauty, purity, elegance, and wealth in art and legend. Mute swans provide enjoyment for many people, who photograph, paint, draw, or just watch them. They are very large, conspicuous birds that are now widely distributed along Maryland tidal shorelines, including many areas occupied by waterfront residential homes. Mute swans have little or no fear of humans perhaps because of their domestic origin. Some people also derive enjoyment from feeding waterfowl, including mute swans, and can become emotionally attached to individual swans, sometimes treating them like pets.
Mute swans are sold for display on ponds and lakes. They are also sold as a biological control for removing unwanted filamentous green algae from small lakes and ponds. In some instances, they are purchased to reduce nuisance problems associated with resident Canada geese. The purchase price of a single mute swan is about $250 and a pair sells for $400-$500. The economic value of the commercial mute swan trade is unknown in Maryland but is believed to be relatively small.
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contents (c) 2003 Maryland Department of Natural Resources.