Responses of wintering geese to the designation of goose foraging areas in The Netherlandsjolien2020-08-18T12:55:55+00:00
Responses of wintering geese to the designation of goose foraging areas in The Netherlands
The Netherlands is important for wintering migratory herbivorous geese, numbers of which have rapidly increased, leading to conflict with agriculture. In 2005/2006, a new goose management policy aimed to limit compensation payments to farmers by concentrating foraging geese in 80 000 ha of designated ‘go’ areas—where farmers received payment to accommodate them—and scaring geese from ‘no go’ areas elsewhere. Monthly national counts of four abundant goose species during 10 years prior to the new policy and in 8 years following implementation found that 57% of all goose days were spent within ‘go’ areas under the new management, the same as prior to implementation. Such lack of response suggests no predicted learning effects, perhaps because of (i) increases in abundance outside of ‘go’ areas, (ii) irregularly shaped boundaries and enclaves of ‘no go’ farmland within ‘go’ areas and/or (iii) insufficient differences in disturbance levels within and outside designated areas.