Various management tools and economic incentives have been used to reduce the increasing agricultural damage caused by migratory geese wintering/staging in Europe. Most schemes appear to be coordinated locally on an ad hoc basis without prioritizing the most cost-effective, long-term and regional management that safeguards goose conservation and leads to a solution of the conflict. Furthermore, there has been no overall evaluation of the effectiveness of management and lessons learned have not been systematically collated and made available to tune the broader aims of population management. In this project we aim to provide input to a framework for a more holistic and adaptive approach to management, where scientists, managers and users collaborate to make management decisions. Under such an integrated approach, scientists focus their data collection on precisely the information expected to be most useful to the management decisions. Similarly, science is focused on hypotheses about the system responses to management actions. Observed responses of the system are then used to adapt management which will then, in turn, form the basis for a revised set of hypotheses to be tested.

The project consists of 4 work packages linked to develop instruments for an adaptive management of conflicting migratory goose populations in Norway. Using a suite of accountable and rigorous experimental and modelling tools, including species distribution, and resource depletion models as well as population models, it provides a unique opportunity to choose the best among available management initiatives to balance ecological, economic, agricultural and social interests. The political-administrative feasibility of setting up an adaptive management framework will be evaluated based on an analysis of the conflict situation, decision-making processes and stakeholder interests and commitment. The spring sites for the pink-footed geese in Norway, Trøndelag and Vesterålen, will be the study sites.

Other consortium members: Dr. I.M. Tombre (NINA; projectleader), prof. dr. J. Madsen (Aarhus University), dr. M. Wisz (Aarhus University), C. E. Simonsen (OiO), dr. J.M. Baveco (Alterra)