The topic of this month's webinar is on mute swans in Michigan. It includes the history of mute swans in the state, their impacts on native birds, the environment, and people, and the management strategy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The MDNR has a policy in place to allow landowners to manage the mute swan populations on their property by obtaining a permit. The application process will be discussed. Also, a stakeholder who has gone through the process of obtaining a permit for his lake, will be online to provide a perspective from the landowner's point of view.
Join David Marks, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Dan Buyze, State Forum on Mute Swans; and Lisa Brush, of The Stewardship Network, to learn more about this important topic in the next Stewardship Network webcast!
David Marks - David attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and received a BS in biology in 2000 and a MS in Environmental Science and Policy in 2003. He got his start working for USDA Wildlife Services in 2001 as a wildlife technician on a National Wildlife Research Center project looking at the efficacy of nicarbazin as a potential contraceptive in free-ranging Canada geese. He has been in his current position as the wildlife disease biologist for the Michigan Wildlife Services Program since 2003. He has been collaborating with the MDNR in the management of mute swans since 2006.
Dan Buyze - Dan is a member of the State Forum for Mute Swans. In addition, Dan chairs the Ecology Committee at Big Whitefish lake, which is a 500 hundred acre lake located in N.W. Montcalm county. Big Whitefish has been involved in swan control for 6 years and was one of the first lake property owner associations to become involved in such actions. It was obvious to property owners that Big Whitefish had a swan problem when the population went from a high of several dozen some 10 years ago to over 80 in 2006. People were now the ones being harassed, in addition to reductions in native bird nesting at the lake and reduced water quality, i.e. elevated bacteria levels. Swan populations on the lake are now kept at an average of 4 to 6 . More native birds are now nesting in the wetland areas, complaints of aggressive birds has been eliminated and water quality has improved.
Lisa Brush - Executive Director, Stewardship Network. Lisa has worked in the environmental field in Michigan for the last fifteen years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Stewardship Network and has been involved with the Network since its inception more than 10 years ago. She has a wealth of experience helping non-scientific people understand scientific issues. For over nine years, as she has built and coordinated the Stewardship Network, she has emphasized effective and meaningful stakeholder involvement in developing and implementing all aspects of this program. She has a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. (Science in Society) from Wesleyan University.