The province of Friesland takes wildlife preservation serious, but that does not mean that the tens of thousands of geese that spend winter in the region can just run wild.
By Hans de Preter / Translation by Traci White
Each year, the province takes certain measures to try and limit the amount of damage caused by the birds. But for some as yet unclear reason, the geese apparently caused far less damage than usual last winter.
According to representatives from the province of Friesland, an evaluation by the Frisian Goose Park determined that the birds caused 24 percent less damage to grasslands last winter than the previous two winters. The findings are good news for the provincial coalition, which is striving to bring down the seasonal damage.
Crop damage caused by geese can be costly, and farmers may be eligible for compensation from the province for plants lost to foraging birds. The exact reasons behind the decline are not entirely clear, but it could have to do with fluctuations in the number of geese and specific measures that individual farmers and hunters have taken on their own property.
The reasons behind the lower numbers will be investigated by the Dutch Fauna Fund, but the changes signify one immediate change: the amount of compensation being paid out has also declined, which is also music to the province’s ears.