• by: Ele Goudreau
  • recipient: The Muskegon Conservation District
Please help me halt the culling of the mute swan in White Lake......*****There is to be a meeting in the spring concerning this horrid massacre.  Hundreds of swans are being targeted.  The more signatures we get, the more able we are to fight this.  Thank you for your support! 
"As the Mute swan population continues to grow in Michigan, the damage and conflicts they create have long-term effects. Mute swans are one of the world's most aggressive waterfowlspecies, especially during nesting and brood-rearing when they often exhibit aggression towardboth humans and other waterfowl. The swans can displace native waterfowl from their nestingand feeding areas by attacking, injuring and even killing other birds. In Michigan, of particular concern are native breeding waterfowl and water birds such as trumpeter swans (statethreatened), ducks, common loons (state threatened) and black terns (state special concern).Auch commented, “What most people don’t realize is that we have a native species of swan, theTrumpeter swan, which should be on White Lake. The Trumpeter is just as charismatic as theMute, but breeding success of the Trumpeter swan and other waterfowl has been severelythreatened by the Mute Swan.”(Go to,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12202-33030--,00.html  to see the real reason why the Trumpeter Swan is limited in number.)The Mute Swan control program, several years in the making, is proposed to begin at the end of January. Overall, the program will utilize a series of measures to control Mute swan populationswith the main focus being the elimination of adults. Because of high reproductive potential andlong life span most of the alternative control methods such as nest and egg destruction are not very effective or efficient in reducing populations. The Conservation District will work with USDA-Wildlife Services staff and utilize FIREARMS to CULL adult swans on White Lake."Go to:,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12202-33030--,00.htmlto learn why the Trumpeter is limited in numbers...
I emailed  Jeff Auch about my concerns with this......this was his response to me....

Dear Ms. Goudreau:  I sincerely appreciate your questions and concerns.  The control program will be a multi-year effort with a several activities put in place to control the population as a whole.  In the coming years we will begin working toward reducing the reproductive success of nesting swans through both oiling and shaking of eggs.  However, in order to make that effort a success the adult population must first be reduced as they are long-lived and highly productive.  Utilizing reduction in productive nests at this stage will have minimal effect on the population, would be extremely hard to implement, does not account for continued migration of Mutes swans from the immediate area, and is very costly.

We have looked at transporting the adults to new locations but the simple capture of adults and transport is extremely stressful to the birds.  Moving adults to other locactions either overpopulates areas that already have swans or expands their range into areas where they don't currently exist thus shifting the problem to another area and another community.  The adult swans will be SHOT by experts, not volunteers or local hunters, to ensure a quick kill. 

The Conservation District has been working for several decades to minimize the impact of humans on the habitat of fish and wildlife.  This effort has lead directly to our ongoing efforts to restore shoreline habitat around White Lake and other systems in the area.  We also offer shoreline management classes, work with individual landowners, and provide matching funds for projects to restore shoreline habitat.  Because of this work we have seen firsthand the damage caused by both human impacts and the swans. 

I understand and am fully aware that a portion of the population does not support this effort and it was not an easy decision on my part to make.  Thank you for your e-mail and expressing your concern.  

Jeff Auch

To Jeff,
I recently became aware of the information regarding the cull of the Mute Swan here in Whitehall, MI.  There are two sides to this, like everything in life.  
"The Mute Swan control program, several years in the making, is proposed to begin at the end ofJanuary. Overall, the program will utilize a series of measures to control Mute swan populationswith the main focus being the elimination of adults."
What are the 'series of measures' being used to control this species and cull?  Do you have full guarantee that the animals will not suffer?
Why are you not implementing a displacement program to find new homes for these creatures rather than killing them? 
How are you monitoring the human impact on the wildlife and native species in this area?  Do you monitor the fisherman and woman that 'clean' the lake of its natural habitat each year?  
I feel this measure of killing off the mute swan or killing it to take control of its population is a poor effort on the cities behalf.  The human population is growing exponentially, does that mean we cull the human population?  There are far better ways to 'control' species that kill them.  
I need to know you are fully aware that there is a  population of people that do feel this effort to control the mute swan is in poor and cruel taste.  Invasive species can blanket many, show that you have compassion and revaluate your stance on this matter.  There are other options.
Please respond to this email.  

 For additional information about the White Lake Swan Control Program individuals may contact the Muskegon Conservation District, (231)773-0008 or
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