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Swans May Be Negatively Impacting The Local Environment

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By Noel McLaren

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) Graceful as they glide across South Jersey Shores, it’s hard to believe there is such a thing as too many stunning mute swans.

“They really just add a majestic beauty to the area,” said bird watcher Jack Chebra.

But some experts say a recent swarm in New Jersey is unnatural.

New Jersey Audobon spokesperson Mike Crewe says the beautiful birds are an invasive species brought over from Europe over 100 years ago for landscape decoration. Now, he says the overpopulation of swans in New Jersey is pushing out native migratory birds, impairing indigenous plants and polluting the ponds they nest in with their waste.

“Essentially they’re bullies even though they’re beautiful,” he said.

According to Crewe, Cape May Point State Park only had about five swans five years ago. Monday, he counted more than 40.

He says the only solution is to kill part of the population. Other states with soaring swan numbers like Maryland, created a Legislation to do so back in 2010.

But those who visit the public ponds across New Jersey say there’s never too much of something so beautiful.

“I would think just the opposite I think they should be in more areas,” said Chebra.

He says swans should be able to enjoy South Jersey summers as much as anyone else.

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