Thursday, March 31, 2011



Since the movement of human beings into the Americas 12,000 or more years ago, and particularly since the movements after the 1400s, humans have altered the structures of a wide variety of ecosystems, mostly to suit our needs and most often purposefully and often indirectly.

Ecosystems therefore have changed in many ways over time.

Mute swans are not indigenous to the Americas, nor is our own species: homo sapiens. To think that we can return to what might be termed a natural balance is unrealistic to say the least.

Nonetheless it is vital that we preserve the grebes and the whooping swans. The recovery of the later is threatened by mute swans which are more aggressive. 

I would suggest that if we wish to intervene to control the growing numbers of mute swans and perhaps Canada Geese it behooves us to do so in an ethical and kindly manner.

How to do so is open to question.

Should we relocate them, we must take due diligence not to smother them in trucks during hot weather.  Should we relocate them it must not be into the territory of other mute swans or geese as they will be invading their territory and aggressive encounters will ensue.

Should we, I believe the term is coddle, their eggs, they will lay more and spend their energy sitting on nests to no avail.

Killing them is out of the question on ethical terms even if it could be done humanely.

Therefore the only good way that I can see to deal with the issue would be to neuter the males and/or have animal doctors perform hysterectomies on the females and release them, when recovered, back into their own territories where they would likely continue to disturb some other birds but in numbers which would gradually decrease over time.

I can not imagine that our current civic society would go to such trouble and expense, so we are left with either BEING CRUEL OR ACCEPTING THAT ALL OF NATURE IS IRREVOCABLY AND CONTINUOUSLY BEING ALTERED BY  HOMO SAPIENS.

In the interests of humanity, therefore, I say accept that we have interfered with and altered ecosystems and try to live our lives in kindness to all the other species we still have to share this beautiful earth with.

The notion of controlling free running dogs during nesting time should also be considered in the appropriate areas of Sam Smith Park.  Humans as well should not disturb the wild life nor should we be feeding birds bread which is not healthy for them and fills up their stomachs and thus prevents them from eating appropriate food.

One final note this spring.  Please leave the pussy willows for the beavers to eat and remember Toronto Bylaws state that no fauna or flora should be removed from our Sam Smith Park.

Kathy Sims

No comments: