The District of West Vancouver says it has spotted eight cygnets (baby swans) in the Ambleside Pool, but only one pair can remain in the pond.
Swans are very territorial and aggressive birds, and can kill the baby swans if they are unable to drive them off.
The Ambleside Pond is small and can only support one pair of swans.
“If the population exceeds that, the swans’ aggressive nature will take over until only one pair remains. That’s why the District must make arrangements for the cygnets to be removed each year,” district said.
“The only option to pinioning the wings and adopting out the cygnets is “addling” the eggs, so they do not hatch. Although removing cygnets from parents can be temporarily difficult, we have chosen to let the swans breed,” West Van said.
In British Columbia, mute Swan numbers have been steadily increasing since the late 1990s, primarily on southern Vancouver Island and in the Fraser River delta.
Considered one of the world’s largest waterfowl, the invasive species was imported from Europe in the late 1800s to adorn parks. Since then, feral populations have established and flourished in some areas due to escapes from captivity or intentional releases.
The largest populations currently occur along the U.S. Atlantic coast and in the lower Great Lakes region of the U.S. and Ontario, with a smaller population in southern British Columbia.
Their population is carefully managed by the federal government to prevent them from overtaking Canada’s native wildlife and wetlands.