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RE: [CALBIRDS] Status of Mute Swan in CA

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  • Kimball Garrett
    Calbirders: It is clear that small numbers of Mute Swans occur throughout California (mainly in coastal counties) and that a few pairs breed locally
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 5, 2005
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      Calbirders:

      It is clear that small numbers of Mute Swans occur throughout California
      (mainly in coastal counties) and that a few pairs breed locally
      (particularly in Marin Co. and elsewhere in the north Bay Area).
      Free-flying birds can be seen almost anywhere and occasionally cause
      confusion by being identified as Tundra or Trumpeter Swans.

      It is currently the opinion of the CBRC's Introduced Birds Subcommittee
      that Mute Swan populations in California are not large enough, nor have
      any of the small populations persisted long enough (except perhaps in
      Marin Co.), to warrant consideration of the species on the state list as
      an established exotic.

      As most of you are aware, the USFWS has been prevented from eradicating
      or otherwise controlling naturalized Mute Swan populations (which are
      doing considerable ecological damage on the Atlantic coast, etc.) by a
      court ruling that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act applied to all swans.
      [Once again, certain misguided animal rights groups were successful in
      pushing an anti-environment agenda]. Thankfully, things are looking
      more hopeful, as an amendment to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was
      published in yesterday's (4 January 2005) Federal Register that
      explicitly excludes Mute Swans and other non-native species from MBTA
      protection. Not wanting to clutter up Calbirds, I haven't pasted the
      entire text from the Federal Register below, but interested parties can
      check the Federal Register announcement on their own (sorry, I don't
      have a link handy).

      Below is just a SMALL PORTION of the Federal Register text; your
      comments in support of this amendment (see procedure below) would be
      helpful.

      Published in the Federal Register today (4 January 2005), pursuant to
      legislative mandate: the USFWS proposed list of bird species to be
      EXCLUDED under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

      The legislative mandate is that provision of the FY2005 Omnibus
      Appropriations Act that incorporates what was HR4114, a bill introduced
      by Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act so as
      to exclude non-native species. That legislation directed the USFWS to
      publish "Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this
      section....a list of all nonnative, human-introduced bird species to
      which the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.) does not
      apply." Said legislation in turn being a response to the decision of a
      federal appellate court that under the terms of the Migratory Bird
      Treaty with Canada and in the absence of regulation by the USFWS to the
      contrary, Mute Swans could not be excluded from MBTA protection. The
      Congress responded by amending the MBTA to provide that:
      (1) IN GENERAL- This Act applies only to migratory bird species that are
      native to the United States or its territories.
      (2) NATIVE TO THE UNITED STATES DEFINED
      (A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), in this subsection the term
      `native to the United States or its territories' means occurring in the
      United States or its territories as the result of natural biological or
      ecological processes.
      (B) TREATMENT OF INTRODUCED SPECIES- For purposes of paragraph (1), a
      migratory bird species that occurs in the United States or its
      territories solely as a result of intentional or unintentional
      human-assisted introduction shall not be considered native to the United
      States or its territories unless--
      (i) it was native to the United States or its territories and extant in
      1918;
      (ii) it was extirpated after 1918 throughout its range in the United
      States and its territories; and
      (iii) after such extirpation, it was reintroduced in the United States
      or its territories as a part of a program carried out by a Federal
      agency.'.

      COMMENTS DUE ON OR BEFORE 3 FEBRUARY 2005.

      Mail public comments to Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management,
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop
      4107, Arlington, VA 22203.

      E-mail comments to nonnativebirds@...
      <mailto:nonnativebirds@...>. E-mail comments should be submitted as
      an ASCII file with Nonnative Birds in the subject line. Avoid the use of
      special characters and any form of encryption.

      -- Kimball

      Kimball L. Garrett
      Ornithology Collections Manager
      Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
      900 Exposition Blvd.
      Los Angeles CA 90007
      (213) 763-3368
      (213) 746-2999 FAX
      kgarrett@...


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jim Gain [mailto:birder@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 7:36 AM
      To: calbirds@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [CALBIRDS] Status of Mute Swan in CA


      Last winter we had a pair of Mute Swans in a small reservoir in Eastern
      Stanislaus County. This winter we now have Mute Swans at two different
      reservoirs along the eastern side of the county. What is the status of
      Mute
      Swans in the state? I understand there is a breeding population in
      Oregon.
      Is there any thought that this species may become the next Eurasian
      Collared-Dove?

      Jim Gain
      Modesto
    • sgloverccc@aol.com
      Hello all, In Contra Costa County there has been a resident flock of Mute Swans for nearly 10 years that frequents the marshes north of Concord, usually on
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 5, 2005
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        Hello all,

        In Contra Costa County there has been a resident flock of Mute Swans
        for nearly 10 years that frequents the marshes north of Concord, usually on
        military property. To the best of my knowledge, this flock had consistently
        numbered about 10 individuals. I was surprised to find, on a recent CBC that
        allowed me access to this property, that there are now almost 50 birds present.
        This small group has often been misidentified by some counters who
        were unaware of the need to carefully check all white swans for possible Mutes.
        Further, as groups such as these continue to grow in number it will begin to
        cast doubt upon distant swan flocks flying over unusual locations, i.e. over
        coastal sites, if Mutes can't be ruled out.

        Steve Glover
        Dublin


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ron Storey
        At one of our latest censuses at Shollenberger Park in Petaluma we counted 27 Mute Swans. As far as I am concerned this is a significant problem. If anyone
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 5, 2005
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          At one of our latest censuses at Shollenberger Park in Petaluma we counted
          27 Mute Swans. As far as I am concerned this is a significant problem. If
          anyone knows of a legal solution that can be sought please let me know.

          Ron Storey
          Petaluma, CA
          ronstorey@...
          http://www.ronstorey.com/

          -----Original Message-----
          From: dougshawbirder@... [mailto:dougshawbirder@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 12:00 PM
          To: bdeuel@...; birder@...; calbirds@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Status of Mute Swan in CA


          Hi All,

          The Mute Swan population has been growing in Sonoma County at
          Shollenberger Park in Petaluma. A few years back there were 1-2 swans
          present. Last I
          knew there were 7 Mute Swans at the park.

          Doug Shaw
          Santa Rosa, CA


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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