Mute Swans and Trees of Heaven
Although many people see mute swans as majestic, beautiful creatures that add enjoyment to our lives, according to John R. Griffin, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, they are “an environmental hazard to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.” Furthermore, other reports by Griffin’s appointees have continued to vividly depict the problem of mute swans by describing mute swans as “formidable threats.”
The mute swan or cygnus olor originated in north central Europe and north central Asia, and they spend their winters in North Africa, the Near East, and parts of India and Korea. The name, mute swan, comes from the fact that these swans are generally more silent than other swans. The mute swan was first introduced into North America in the late 1800s mostly for superficial reasons. Their population has grown dramatically over time not only in the Chesapeake Bay area but across North America including the Great Lakes region. Many environmentalists are worried because of their aggressive behavior towards other birds like Canada geese and even humans. Furthermore, they consume significant portions of vegetation in the areas in which they habitat, up to eight pounds of bay grass a day. In recent years, there have been many environmental actions concerning the mute swan both for decreasing the population as well as protecting them. There has been a significant amount of lethal action from 2000 on. The population of mute swans in the Chesapeake Bay went from about 4,000 in 2000 to only 500 in 2009. The Humane Society has spoken publicly against this awful treatment of animals on numerous occasions. Mute swans are protected in some areas of the country like Connecticut. I definitely do not think that anyone should be killing mute swans; I think that since we were the ones that brought them over here then we should find a way to deal with the problem efficiently in another manner. We should put them in wildlife reserves throughout the country or put them in areas that protect mute swans. If neither of these options work, then we should send them back to Europe or Asia. Maybe, we could give them as gifts to other countries and better political ties with other countries.
In Georgia, there are numerous types of invasive species such as mimosa, small carpgrass, honey bee mite, amber snail, as well as tree of heaven. A tree of heaven is usually a small tree that grows very rapidly. They are native to Asia and were first introduced to North America in 1748. They were typically planted in communities or cities due to the fact that they could easily grow in harsher conditions. Flowering happens in early summer, and they are very resilient growing in poor soil conditions as well as even in cracks in short structures or cement sidewalks. Trees of heaven typically do best in the edges of forests. The problem is that they displace native species and rapidly take over fields, meadows, and harvested forests. I am not sure what exactly has been done to help prevent these trees from continuing to populate, but once again like the mute swans, I think that humans must take responsibility for creating these situations for invasive species to cause environmental problems due to our introduction of foreign species into North America.