“Mute Swan Management” sounds innocent enough but actually entails conservation authorities coating the swans’ eggs in oil to cut off the oxygen that passes through the shell. Without oxygen, the babies (cygnets) inside won’t develop. This kills the cygnets. It is also devastating for the parents. The pen (female) rarely leaves the nest when she is incubating the eggs. Not realizing the eggs won’t hatch after being oiled, she has been known to stay on the nest until July. This is weeks after the normal hatching time, but she won’t abandon the babies she thinks will emerge. She is nearly starving when she finally gives up.
The need for Mute Swan Management is not substantiated by the evidence.
For scientific and ethical reasons, the destruction of Mute Swans’ eggs should stop. If it continues, less lethal and more humane strategies should be pursued, such as allowing a percentage of eggs to hatch.