Goose cull planned to limit agricultural damage

Numbers of pink-footed geese will be brough down by 20,000, according to a plan that was agreed between Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway

June 26th, 2012 11:28 am| by admin

Pink-footed geese in western Jutland are causing so much damage to farmers land that a new action plan has called for a cull of a quarter of the 80,000 migrating population.

The population of geese that spends the winter in northern Europe, predominantly in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, breed on the Norwegian island of Svalbard in the Arctic and have quadrupled in number over the past 40 years.

This booming population, which scientists say is a conservation success story, has brought it into direct conflict with agricultural interests, however, and now a cross-border plan will attempt to reduce the number of birds by 20,000.

“In a number of countries large compensations are today paid to farmers suffering losses due to crops damaged by geese foraging in their fields,” Jesper Madsen, from Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) at Aarhus University, wrote in a press release. “This is an unfortunate spiral as long as the populations continue to grow. In several countries interventions are discussed in order to reduce the conflict between geese and agriculture.”

The international population management plan that was agreed by Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium will try and maintain a stable population of about 60,000 individuals.

The plan seeks to both keep down the population with targeted hunting, while also securing the birds’ living and feeding conditions during its migration through a partnership that includes hunters, farmers and nature protection agencies.

“Hunting of pink-footed goose is allowed in Denmark, but the plans will seek to optimise the hunting and minimise the risk of wounding,” Madsen wrote. “We already have a constructive dialogue with the Danish Hunters’ Association as the plan places demands on the hunters and their skills.”

Not everyone is keen about the plan. Speaking to DR, Egon Østergaard, chairman of DOF, the national ornithological association, said he disagreed with it in principle.

“We don’t believe it is right to set limits of how many individuals of a particular species there may be,” he said.

When they arranged to meet in the park, she never thought he'd bring his wife (photo: iStock)
As the Ashley Madison fallout continues, are its members being misunderstood?
Most adultery site users probably never thought they would have to explain ...
Photo by iStock
Referendum in the balance
On 21 August, Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced a referendum on rep...
Living life on the move (Photo: iStock)
24 hours in the shoes of a refugee child
Though Denmark’s politicians are increasingly in the news for their hardl...
Per Hansen, Michael Mortensen and Peter Rosengreen represented the management team at the award ceremony (photo: CASA)
Property developer CASA crowned Danish Entrepreneur of the Year
On Thursday evening the audit and consultancy firm EY gathered together 800...
Copenhelp to give a helping hand to Denmark's homeless (photo: iStock)
New app to help homeless in Copenhagen
A new app that aims to lend a helping hand to the homeless in Copenhagen ha...
One has to look good in surgery (photo: iStock)
Copenhagen-based heart surgeon avoids prison time for embezzling research funds
Disgraced heart surgeon Peer Grande, 64, has today been handed a 18-month s...