The ODNR owes residents and visitors of Buckeye Lake an apology and an explanation. ODNR ok’d the killing of a female swan and her nest of eggs, with no regard for the residents’ attachment and interest in the regal pair that lived on their lake.
The complaining residents who decided to have the swans eliminated were either terrified or just intolerant.They can’t claim that they never intended for this killing to happen since they employed someone to do it. Perhaps they should have discussed their ideas with other residents who were clearly upset by the outcome.
There is a challenge in court to a federal “maintenance” program to reduce the mute swan population by 85%. Mute swans are considered by the government to be too aggressive and to be having an adverse affect on native species. However, I have never heard of anyone being killed by a mute swan, as declared by ODNR supervisor Gary Ludwig. I have heard that they should be left alone, even if they beg for food.
To keep them away from your houses you should eliminate food sources too near your house. Their food is best found in grasses, agricrops, and water plants. They also eat insects. They usually build a mound nest in shallow water at the edge of a pond or lake unless they are lured to another area by a food source.
ODNR acted clumsily, with no regard for public sentiment, as usual. It is their duty to inform the public and to help people to live in wildlife areas with no problems. Having birds shot, eggs crushed or having birds hauled away unceremoniously as they did with geese a while back, only creates a huge division between authorities and the people. Let the state know how you feel about the ODNR.
Contact your governor and your legislators to formulate a state law for the swans. Connecticut and Maryland have statutes now. With proper information, you and the swans can co-exist and thrive. In New Hampshire we do this same thing with bears. Buckeye Lake is a beautiful place to live and to enjoy nature. Residents and wildlife alike deserve better treatment than what they have suffered at the hands of “authorities”.
North Haverhill, NH