BASC responds to white-fronted geese consultation

White fronted goose by northeastwildlife.co.ukBASC has responded to the Welsh government’s consultation on Greenland white-fronted geese by urging continued support for the alliance between wildfowlers and bird conservation bodies.

For the preparation of its paper ‘Promoting the conservation of white-fronted geese in Wales’, the government sought views on either removing the geese from the quarry list (options 1-4) or continuing to support a voluntary ban on shooting them (option 5).

BASC’s response was in support of option 5; wildfowlers have had a voluntary moratorium on shooting the geese for more than forty years with the association’s members playing a key role in programmes to improve their over-wintering success.

Gary Ashton, BASC director Wales, said: “Taking white-fronted geese off the quarry list in Wales has no material benefit and is not a responsible use of public funds.

“The risk of any geese being shot outside of areas managed by wildfowling clubs is negligible and there is no evidence this has happened. We urge the government to continue supporting the voluntary shooting moratorium observed by wildfowlers in Wales.”

Tim Russell, BASC’s director of conservation, said: “The international action plan for these geese does not require the Welsh government to change the legal status of white-fronted geese. Rather, it requires the Welsh government to send representatives to an international meeting to consider responses to the continued deterioration of the global population status.

“The voluntary shooting moratorium is effective. Poor breeding productivity of white-fronted geese in Greenland needs to be targeted, not moving from voluntary to statutory protection in Wales.

“If the Welsh Government wishes to improve the status of white-fronted geese in Wales, then it should continue to invest in research and habitat work to ensure birds return to breeding grounds in Greenland in the best possible condition.”

For a copy of BASC’s briefing and consultation response click here.

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