Darien, Connecticut—Friends of Animals is pleased to announce the launch of its multi-year Campaign for Tundra Swan Appreciation and Protection in Pennsylvania.
FoA will promote widespread public appreciation and protection for Tundra Swans in Pennsylvania with the help of area residents and the local media, while a coalition of animal protection organizations, birders, and grassroots supporters conduct and oversee the campaign’s ecotourism and public education programs.
FoA President Priscilla Feral says, “We are going to encourage everyone—not just Pennsylvania residents—to visit the state’s Tundra Swan resting and migratory staging areas to observe and photograph these birds in their natural habitats. Hopefully, this will be the start of a very large—and positive—trend toward swan appreciation in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.”
In March, some large lakes, reservoirs, and rivers in the Commonwealth are outstanding places to observe and photograph Tundra Swans, such as the Susquehanna River at Washington Boro in Lancaster County, Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon County, Blue Marsh Lake and sometimes Lake Ontelaunee in Berks County, Lake Chillisquaque in the PPL Montour Preserve in Montour County, Lake Pymatuning in Crawford County, and wetlands along parts of Lake Erie.
Pennsylvania-based ornithologist and Friends of Animals’ wildlife consultant Donald S. Heintzelman adds, “Tundra Swans are elegant birds—among our state’s most spectacular ornithological treasures during their relatively short stopovers here. They should be appreciated for their marvelous natural beauty and wildness.”
As many as 10,000 Tundra Swans (Cygnus c. columbianus) visit Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River Valley biannually during their long-distance migrations between the Arctic and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. They are the state’s only regularly occurring native swan species.
To date, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has not proposed or authorized a Tundra Swan hunting season. It has, however, engaged in cooperative studies and has prepared a swan management plan that could signal a move in that direction.
Those who are interested in joining the Campaign for Tundra Swan Appreciation and Protection are encouraged to contact FoA at their national headquarters in Darien, Connecticut. There are ample opportunities for volunteers to become involved. If you are a Pennsylvania resident and wish to join the campiagn, click here and send us your contact information.
“I am very much disturbed by the proposal that the Tundra Swan be included as a game species. This bird gives too many people pleasure to be sacrificed for the sport of a limited number of gunners. I am unconditionally opposed to the hunting of the Tundra Swan.” —Roger Tory Peterson (1989)