New York releases new plan to deal with non-native mute swans without so much slaughter

A revised plan for dealing with non-native mute swans in New York involves less shooting and more management.

The original plan proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in 2013 called for eliminating wild populations of the elegant white birds by shooting them and destroying their eggs. Maryland, Michigan and other states have similar plans, with wildlife biologists citing damage to native species.

The agency backed off the plan last March after an outcry by New York City animal lovers.

On Monday it released a new plan and said it will take comments for 45 days. The plan still calls for killing free-ranging mute swans around Lake Ontario but allows downstate municipalities to manage them in public parks while preventing them from breeding or escaping.

The state's mute swan population is estimated at 2,200, mostly around New York City.