- Report Published -
|The Tundra Swan Study Committee|
|Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Airlie Swan Research Program|
|HJR 586 (Regular Session, 1993)|
|The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) established a Swan Study Committee in April of 1993 to study issues related to the hunting of tundra swan "Cygnus columbianus" in Virginia.|
House Joint Resolution 586 requested "that the Board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Airlie Swan Research Center, should review its policies regarding the swan hunting season." The resolution identified three specific areas to be addressed including: (1) the viability of the (tundra) swan population, (2) the effect of swans on crops and, (3) the alternatives available to deal with crop damage caused by swans.
The Swan Study Committee solicited input from state, federal and private conservation agencies and organizations regarding the legal status of tundra swans, the federal framework for hunting seasons for tundra swans, population status data, and impacts on agricultural in Virginia. Scientists and technical advisors presented information to the committee on the various issues associated with the management and hunting of tundra swans in Virginia.
Based on data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others, the Committee determined that the Eastern Population of tundra swans is a viable population. In addition, the number of tundra swans wintering in Virginia has been approximately 6,000 birds per year and that this re presents a relatively stable population of swans in Virginia. The committee further concluded that because of the current harvest rate of three (3) percent in Virginia is not likely to adversely impact the Virginia or the Atlantic Flyway population of tundra swans.