From Susanne E. Koschke, Waterford Township:
Peter L. Schappach of Commerce Township (“Checking the facts,” March 30) is is so concerned that all statements must be proven facts, seems to be less concerned with the reasons given by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the killing of the mute swans. Most of their assertions are not based on solid studies. First, let’s do the numbers.
They say that in 2010 there were 15,500 swans in Michigan, up from 5,400 in 2000. So in 150 years, they went from two (a pair) to 5,400 and then in just 10 years, their numbers tripled. I let you do the math.
Swans do not have very many cygnets and the few they have seldom all survive. Most of them are killed by snapping turtles and big fish.
The DNR admits that their assertions are of dubious origins (no studies were done in Michigan). Wow! If the mute swans really were not native in the Americas, the fact remains that they were here for about 150 years. That should be enough to qualify for citizenship.
I have never heard of a swan killing a human, even though they have been harassed by jet skis and boats. If the swans have exhausted their (and other birds’) food supply, how come they have thrived? Not eating swans doesn’t lessen the hunter’s desire to harm and kill them. How much of a meal would a little mourning dove be?
Also, I have seen a hunting area littered with dead ducks, which were left as a meal for wild animals and turkey vultures.
How come you don’t question the DNR’s reasons for wanting to kill the mute swans? There are nothing but half-truths and undocumented statements.