Chalk streams and grazing Mute Swans
Journal: British Wildlife
The evidence shows that swan grazing can reduce plant abundance, prevent flowering, reduce water depth and reduce fishery value. However, these effects seem to be limited to a small number of sites on larger chalk streams. The results of attempted management have been disappointing, and we currently have no simple effective means of preventing grazing damage. However, our understanding of the effects of swans on the chalk stream ecosystem has been growing rapidly, which gives us hope for future solutions. In particular, combining strategies which improve river condition and move swans away from sensitive areas could offer a way of managing grazing effects.