Mute swans have a new look on life now that a bill was passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo ending the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) prohibition of the species, according to State Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, who wrote the bill.
Cymbrowitz has doggedly tried to place a moratorium on the state’s plan to cull New York’s mute swan population — which the DEC targeted for extermination in 2013. Governor Andrew Cuomo has twice vetoed legislation that would halt the DEC’s effort to eliminate the swans, which the agency says are an invasive species that threaten local ecosystems.
“The people have spoken and I’m pleased that the Governor has listened,” Cymbrowitz said. “Tens of thousands of New Yorkers signed petitions, sent letters and emails to the Governor’s office, and, in my community, called my office to tell me how much they enjoy watching the swans in Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach. People were very vocal about their support of this bill, and I have to believe it made all the difference.”
The bill establishes a two-year moratorium on the DEC’s plan to manage the mute swan population, which were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1800s. It also requires the agency favor non-lethal management techniques and provides stronger evidence that the swans endanger ecosystems.