Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


"Goose steps" needed for knowledge of bird problem

"Goose steps" needed to increase knowledge of bird problem

Scientists say research is needed to clear up “grey areas” on managing a large black and white goose that damages farm pasture and city parks.

The Canada goose was first introduced to New Zealand in 1876 and is expanding its range, particularly in eastern areas of both North and South islands. The goose competes with livestock for crops and pasture; fouls farm paddocks, city parks and sports fields; and increases the risk of bird strike around airports. It can carry diseases including avian influenza, campylobacter, salmonella and E.coli that may infect people and animals including our rare native birds.

The goose’s classification as a game bird is currently under review by the Conservation Minister. At present it can only be hunted under license from Fish & Game. Fish & Game can order culls if hunters fail to control geese to acceptable levels, but local hunters opposed recent attempts to cull birds in Christchurch.

Landcare Research scientists Drs Eric Spurr and Jim Coleman have reviewed goose population trends, damage and control in New Zealand. They say that while goose damage is multifaceted, surprisingly little research has been done on the true economic impacts, and how to manage goose numbers more effectively than at present.

“Currently, the goose population is well above the levels agreed to by farming interests,” Dr Spurr says. “As hunting alone does not keep numbers in check, research will help to refine other methods. Preventing birds breeding, scaring birds, and culling all have advantages and disadvantages – for example scaring may simply shift birds around.

“Also, there is no specific measurement of whether current goose management is actually minimising adverse effects.”

Dr Spurr also says the reasons for variations in the level of goose-related damage are not fully understood.

“We do know there are seasonal changes in goose diet. For example, on a study of 69 hectares of pasture, geese ate an average 90 kilograms of pasture per day in spring, and more than five times that in autumn. Goose impacts may be worse in drought years, and the ability of land to cope with goose numbers varies considerably. This tells us that managing goose populations to a pre-agreed number may not always be the most effective approach.

“Better information on control methods, population trends and of course the cost of goose damage will help enlighten decisions on the goose’s future status and management.”

Spurr, E.B; Coleman, J.D. 2005. Review of Canada goose population trends, damage, and control in New Zealand. Landcare Research Science Series No. 30. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, New Zealand. 31 pp.

Copies of the report (cost $20.00 each + $5 delivery per order) are available from:
Manaaki Whenua Press, Landcare Research, PO Box 40, Lincoln 8152. A PDF of the report may be downloaded free from:
www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/scienceseries/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news