There are about 80 swans on the Avon River and a new breeding programme is under way to help replenish the many aging birds. The white swan became a protected species in 1950 under the *Department of CALM Wilflife Conservation Act. This means it is illegal to remove a white swan from the wild, keep a swan as a pet or release a swan into the wild without the appropriate licence. The swan is a protected species and in Northam they are cared for and watched over by local volunteer Swan Wardens.
The white swan (Cygnus olor) originated from Europe and Asia. It enjoys eating water plants, fish, frogs, insects and a crustacean or two. They can weight up to 15kg and will deliver a nasty bite and whack with their wings if provoked. When a male swan (cob) and a female swan (a pen) become partners they remain monogamous throughout their lives. The female swan can lay up to twelve eggs during each breeding season and it take between 35-40 days for the eggs to hatch.
Though white swans in the northern hemisphere migrate to warmer climates during the winter months, in Australia (Northam) they stay happily along the Avon River. This is due to the mild winter weather conditions and the abundance of food.
Many thanks to westaustralianvista.com for this information. Photos obtained free on Google search.
*NOTE: The Department of CALM was originally the Forests Department of Western Australia where I worked for 12 years. During that time it became Department of Conservation and Land Management, and, after I left, Department of the Environment and Conservation and is now The Department of Parks and Wildlife. My daughter began working for the Forests Department back in the 1980s when we job shared. At that time we were typists but she has moved on to bigger and better things and now runs her own publication section and makes a wonderful success of it.