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Cinema Bayville

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Transcripts of Cinema Bayville movies

Creatures and Critters

Invasive Beauties

Narrator: Rich Malecki, a researcher from Cornell University, and his
assistant are scanning the Chesapeake to pick up a signal from a transmitter they attached to a mute swan earlier in the season. They're trying to get solid scientific information on mute swans, a rapidly‑proliferating bird in the Bay that is causing problems. They hope to support a position that most experts already have about this bird and its relationship to the Chesapeake.

Rich Malecki: They've been around for a long time but now they're building up to large numbers where they're really having an impact. And so they're another stressor on the system. And we know that they feed on the submerged aquatic vegetation. They churn a lot of it up with their feet and they're destructive in large numbers. And it's hard to get Bay grasses established again because of the disturbance by the mute swan.

Narrator: Mute swans were first released onto the Chesapeake in 1962, when five captive birds escaped during a storm. By 1999, their numbers had spiked to 4000, sparking a furious debate about the swan's aggressive nature and its voracious appetite for the Bay's critical crop of underwater grasses.


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