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Mute Swans In Michigan - Destructive Alien Species

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Joe Kish, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    I was reading up on this introduced (in 1919) species and found this:

    One of the world’s most aggressive waterfowl species, especially while nesting and raising their young, mute swans drive out native waterfowl and other wetland wildlife with their hostile behavior. Mute swans will chase native breeding birds from their nests.

    A single mute swan can consume four to eight pounds of plants a day. They uproot and destroy these wetland plants that are a main food source for native birds and cover for native fish and invertebrates. Continuous feeding by a flock of mute swans can destroy an entire wetland ecosystem.
    These large birds show little fear of people. Each year the DNR receives reports of mute swan attacks on people in boats and on shore. - (End).

    This looks like a statewide problem and these swans are even non-migratory. What's going on with that problem up there? Any programs by any clubs or agencies to protect waterfowl and ecosystems from these foul invaders? Other than shoot, shovel and shut up, I mean.
     
  2. Fermis

    Fermis Well-Known Member

    Michigan does seem a bit weird, when it comes to some birds. They are protected here...but hunted in southern states. I don't really follow much about birds (I pretty much only hunt deer anymore). I do know doves, swans, and cranes are hunted elsewhere, while they are protected here. Not sure what flavor of swans call my lake home...but I do know, they are total arseholes.
     

  3. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

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    We have them out here too. Fish and Wildlife admits they are an invasive species but will not allow hunters to shoot them because they are swans. Other non native “invasive” species they have done their best to destroy but certain species like Mute swans, horses and burros they protect.
     
  4. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

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    Minnesota protects them too, simply because co's cant tell them apart from trumpeters but if I see one its dead
     
  5. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    I see your point byrdman and I understand where you're coming from. However, I believe they are an important part of the ecosystem. I believe they would look quite good taxidermied using the Frost technique. Have you heard of it? It's a very successful technique that leaves animals fully preserved with little effort on your part.
     
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    They use to be listed under unprotected, when the hell did that change?
     
  7. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    It changed when that darn Republican Brian Johnson messed around with the laws of the land. He has no idea what they do to us taxidermists and the land on which we acquire our animals.
     
  8. Let's not get political, please.
     
  9. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    I'm sorry
     
  10. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    I'm sorry. I oughtn't impose upon you my political beliefs
     
  11. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    I've just been annoyed at the direction our country is moving and my inability to guide or shape my future. Just like we aren't able to decide the protection status of the mute swan. I feel unable to protect the future I want for myself. All I want is to be able to work on my craft and improve upon my skills.
     
  12. Thomas G.

    Thomas G. New Member

    Go gettem. You can always improve :).
     
    Tomfool2319 likes this.
  13. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to make a point about now. First this from Wikipedia, which is not reliable 100 percent of the time when it comes to reporting unbiased facts:

    Canada geese were introduced as a game bird into New Zealand in 1905.[1] They were protected under the Wildlife Act of 1953 and the population was managed by Fish and Game New Zealand who culled excessive bird numbers. The number of birds increased and by 1996 they had reached an estimated population of 40,000 in the South Island.[1] In 2011 the government removed the protection status allowing anyone to kill the birds.[2][3]

    ...in the braided river valleys of the South Island and damage to pastures was reported as early as 1925. They affect pastures by competing for food with the farmed animals and by leaving droppings.

    New Zealand is an English speaking country same as Michigan, and has a similar serious problem with Canada geese. If their DNR can be persuaded that open ended culling is a viable way to suppress the geese, so can Michigan's DNR. Read this from the Michigan Taxidermists Assoc. by-laws:

    SECTION II - Purpose
    E. It will be the goal of the MTA to assist in any way possible the conservation of all our natural resources for the future generations, and,

    Now, I've recently praised the MTA for its educational and charitable activities. Quite commendable what they do. Now here's the big HOW? How does the MTA, through its members or with it's resources assist in any way at all in mitigating the effects of Mute swan damage? Here's your opportunity to let us know..

    All you taxidermists who make a living mounting waterfowl have a stake in the conservation of wetland ecosystems. I don't have to explain why.

    Yourmom, tell us why you believe mute swans are an important part of the ecosystems.
    Tomfool, There's nothing political at issue here.

    Lead the field Michigan!
     
  14. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    Joe,
    First I’d like to say that was quite well written.

    I also do understand your point about mute swans being slightly harmful to the environment.

    However, after doing a little research of my own I found that, in fact, these geese have lived since they were imported from Europe in the mid 1800s to early 1900s.

    Thus I’m of the thinking that because there hasn’t been significant detrimental impact on the environment.

    While there have been incidents of actions affecting the animal and plant populations of I don’t believe they are yet at the danger level of needing to be hunted.

    I believe that humans don’t deserve to be judge, jury and executioner of an animal species. Things like this happen all the time and naturally the world eventually brings it self back to order.
     
    Thomas G. likes this.
  15. Fermis

    Fermis Well-Known Member

    I did a bit of digging, out of curiosity. What I found was a bit dated(2012), but apparently people can get permits to kill these swans, and/or destroy nests and eggs. What, if anything has changed since that article...I dunno, and I don't have a whole lot of cares about it. It did say they planned on ridding us of about 85-90% of them...but I see more and more on my lake over the years.
     
  16. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    I do agree that they may be a growing problem in some communities but that’s doesn’t always mean mass genocide is the answer.

    Know, Fermis, that I’m not saying that’s what you think, but there are people who do.
     
  17. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Wipe em out. They do not enhance the ecosystem in any conceivable way, in fact their aggression displaces native waterfowl, so that is enough reason to take em out. I prefer that we don't wait to see if this released pet becomes a more serious problem. How's that working in the everglades with non-native reptiles or more widespread issues such as carp of all varieties and snake heads?
     
    h20halo likes this.
  18. Yourmom

    Yourmom New Member

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    3bears,
    Not to offend you, but bullish attitudes like this are what ruin whole ecosystems

    People who believe that they alone have the power to play God and determine what is good for an ecosystem.

    As I said earlier I’m of the belief that that initially seemingly detrimental additions we’ll be fixed by nature in one way or another.
     
  19. Thomas G.

    Thomas G. New Member

    Well then again wiping out an entire species is quite difficult. Take the tumbleweeds that run rampant here and in the rest of the plains. We've been trying for quite a long time and still no luck. But if they are invasive, definitely kill them. I wish I could help.

    With a little bit of an edit, Yourmom. Here is the problem with your logic. They are invasive, and do not contribute positively to the ecosystem. Killing them off would not destroy the ecosystem, but benefit it
     
  20. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I don't get offended that easy, and I don't believe for even a second to be God or anything close to it, but I do thank God for giving a brain and the ability to use it. Those dimwits that released those birds into and ecosystem made that decision and it is our job to right that wrong not to wait and see. What cost will be paid for the wait and see attitude?
    "Bullish attitudes" are what is needed to use logic and science to protect our natural world and not emotions, but unfortunately all too often the powers that be relent to the feel good know nothing do gooders, ecosystems be damned.
     
    George and Tomfool2319 like this.