But, people intuitively love mute swans, so they must be demonized. Being "alien" helps, though there is a huge hypocrisy involved. The same agencies that decry the bird's foreign origins fail to mention that, by itself, that is hardly a problem when it comes to so many other species (including the brown trout, ring-necked pheasant, coho salmon and other "game" animals that they, themselves, cheerfully add to the environment). So, being "alien" is only selectively a concern. In fact, most of the plants and a huge percentage of the animals we see in the wetlands are not native. More to the point, either the exact same species, or ones quite like them, co-exist with mute swans in Eurasian wetlands, begging the question (seldom asked and never answered): What makes the same, or very similar, species so vulnerable over here? And, why more vulnerable to mute swans than to trumpeter swans, whose "re"introduction is not challenged?
One of the most abundant plants in wetlands is the common reed, Phragmites, which is choking out wetlands. It is not native, but it is far too established to eliminate, and if mutes pull them out, isn't that good? In fact, we have "Europeanized" so much of North America that it is far more suitable for mute swans than for trumpeters. Many Eurasian bird species, including other swans, have reached North America on their own, some establishing themselves as breeding species -- and, in the fullness of time, the mute swan might, too. And, don't forget that they are also common here in Ontario, across the lake, and we are not killing them... So, to keep New York mute swans free would require endlessly killing each one seen. Really, isn't that a tad absurd?