Perhaps there are other factors in play with these aerial vermin, but as
I said - I'm not an expert.
On Fri, 2003-09-12 at 18:47, Christopher Scharpf wrote:
> I live near the Bay, so I hear and read about this issue every day.
> The issue is a legal one. The swans are protected by the Migratory Bird
> Treaty Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, which (I presume) does
> not distinguish between natives and exotics. It's not that the judges don't
> want the swans to be killed. They are simply upholding the laws, which, if
> you follow them to the letter, forbids anyone from doing so.
> The "do-gooders" argue that the swans are being made a scapegoat for the
> runoff, development, hog farms, etc., that are responsible for the Bay's
> poor health. Rather than kill swans, laws should be made (or enforced) and
> more resources allocated toward watershed protection. In this the
> "do-gooders" are absolutely correct: the Bay's ill's are not the fault of
> the swans.
> However, what the "do-gooders" fail to realize is that the fragile health of
> the Bay -- specifically, the few remaining patches of healthy bay grasses,
> which the swans like to eat -- is made even more fragile by the presence of
> the swans. Reducing the swan population won't solve the problem, but it will
> eliminate a serious stressor. Reproducing swans + dwindling bay grasses is a
> catastrophe waiting to happen. (And this is to say nothing of the swan's
> aggressiveness toward native birds such as heron and osprey. Having been
> chased by a male swan when I came within 30 yards of its nest, I can attest
> to the fact that these creatures are big and mean and fearless!)
> The judges' hands are tied. The laws -- which was written long before swans
> became a problem -- clearly forbids their being killed. Yet all responsible
> scientists and wildlife managers know that curbing their population is the
> ecologically sound thing to do.
> I would guess that it would take an amendment to the cited Acts -- in other
> words, an act of Congress -- to allow the swans to be killed.
> > From: John Bongiovanni <bongi_at_cox-internet.com>
> > Reply-To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> > Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 13:50:53 -0500
> > To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> > Subject: NANFA-- Exotic Removal -Swans vs Snakeheads
> > Geez. I heard on NPR today about the problem Maryland is having with the
> > Asian Mute Swan. Its taking over areas of Chesapeak Bay displacing other
> > birds and eating and tearing up the aquatic grasses that the fish live in.
> > The local parks and wildlife dept has devised a program to destroy the birds.
> > These are huge birds by-the-way.
> > Now there are organized "do-gooder" groups raising cane over the destruction
> > of the exotics. They have actually convinced a judge to execute a stay
> > preventing the state from moving forward in their plans. Good thing that old
> > snakehead in Maryland last summer was just butt ugly!
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