Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Windermere.................................................... culling the Canada Geese

 'polluting' Canada Geese to be culled.

About 200 Canada geese are to be culled in the Lake District.

Rangers say the 1,000 geese in Windermere have been causing environmental problems by grazing and polluting the lake with droppings.

They insist the cull will be carried out "sensitively" using silenced shotguns, in spring when the geese start to nest.  With few natural predators, they are now listed as a "pest species" by Natural England.

The geese pair for life and as the male and female will be in one place the process will be less cruel.  

 'Reduce stress' 

Steve Tatlock Lake District National Park Authority ranger described the cull as the end of a long process.

"We've tried all the ways that are often successful in small urban areas, such as fencing or egg oiling but it's only made a small difference" he said.
"This is not something we will do lightly... it's not a question of blasting them out of the skies or off the water
this is going to take place on land, and at that time of year we are pretty sure we can get pairs in one go to reduce the stress."

He added: "Its a sensitive issue controlling wildlife whether natural or introduced.  
"We're aware of that but we're involved in the wider management of a wider environment here.
"It's about controlling the impact that invasive species have and maintaining a natural balance."


My thoughts... I wonder how much tourism has influenced this decision.
Windermere is the most popular lake in the district for visitors... Bowness and Ambleside both have big grassy areas near the shore... ideal for family picnics in the summer months. 
I haven't pinpointed the area the cull will be concentrated on... but an educated guess..... the above.?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this type of wildlife management.

To see more wonderful birds click on the image below to visit 
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37 comments:

Gary said...

To my way of thought, so called culling is nonsense, and usually economically drive. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Bob Bushell said...

Culling any type of birds is atrocious. The problem is us, the main polluting body. We spend our time feeding ourselves and the Canada Geese. Would anybody like to cull us?

mick said...

A difficult decision - but so many introductions in this country have caused havoc among the native wildlife that sometimes it is necessary.

Horst in Edmonton said...

I don't like Culling but if that is what they have to do, then the birds that are shot should be used for food and not just thrown in a garbage dump to rot. These are healthy birds. Here in Canada we have Hunting season for this, and only for a very short time. They may not like bird poop on the grass, but it does the grass good to get goose fertilizer, and the grass gets a natural hair cut, no pollutants.

heyBJK said...

I guess what is considered a "normal" bird here can easily be a pest elsewhere. Of course, we use hunting here as an effective means of controlling the enormous population. I know some people don't or won't embrace that, but it works.

All that aside, great photos, Andrew!

Carole M. said...

it's a hard call this one. There's a peaceful waterbird just getting on with life and being good and in return? How can anyone be sure they shoot 'pairs'? I do hear the over-riding factor; I just find it hard to come to terms with.

TexWisGirl said...

(got the fake app attack message again today).

your photos are great. the culling sounds like they've tried other methods and deem this necessary at this point. sounds rough, though, as pairs begin to nest...

Sandra said...

it is cruel to me to kill them, man will do what man will do and it has been that way since the beginning of time. it makes me sad to think of it. here in america they kill the wolves, they kill the coyotes, they kill the ponies and the horses, and now doe to mans stupidity they will be killing pythons in the everglades. nothing new under the sun as it says in Ecclesiastes.

NatureFootstep said...

canadians make great reflections in the water. :)

eileeninmd said...

Great captures of the Goose, I love the closeups.

holdingmoments said...

Lovely shots Andrew.
I'd rather see a thousand of these than a thousand people.

grammie g said...

HI Andrew...Wow...when man moves in and takes over the natural habitat of birds and animal that seems to be okay, but when the reverse happens and the birds and animals move in where man lives !!!! I don't know the answer, but it seems better managment should have been going on long before this!!
On another note..; ] your photos are very lovely ..especially like the in your face shot..lol
Gracexx

Kathiesbirds said...

This is a tough subject and just heart breaking to think about. I'm sure I do not have the answers. I know that we have problems with these geese in the state polluting lakes where people swim and in some places you are banned from feeding the geese. I would not want tons of geese droppings all over the ground where I want to picnic either, but it seems terribly cruel to have to "cull" them like this.

Kathiesbirds said...

P.S. Nice close-up of the face in that last shot.

P.S.s. do people feed them at this lake? Is that why they hang out there? I like what Horst in Edmonton had to say.

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

If their problem is the droppings polluting the water and grass areas, why don't they have volunteers with pooper scoopers and nets clean it up each day?

I agree that culling would help the over population problem, but the environmental problem with their poop is still going to be there!

Great post!

Susan Scheid said...

It's a tough and terrible equation, balancing human life and wildlife. By winning, which is what culling is intended to do, I think, we also lose.

Chatty Crone said...

The one in the last picture is looking at you. sandie

Nadege, said...

It can be such an emotional issue, but it is sometime a necessity to cull some of these wonderful animals in overpopulated areas.

Beautiful captures.

Springman said...

I don't know what the right decision is Andrew. Seems like there is a new species introduced to Michigan every few years. Strange bugs, fish, and crustasians have all entered the Great Lakes region in recent years. Even our beloved cat tails are being pushed out of the wetlands. I don't think culling will solve the problem. Keeping the edges of the ponds high with weeds usually scares off geese. Their fear of predators hiding there seems to do the trick.It's a shame to have to go nuclear on them. Good topic!

Martha Z said...

I don't pretend to know what the natural balance is where geese are concerned. I do know that man has eliminated many predator species which once kept wildlife in balance.
I saw an egret with a vole today, killing is nature's way just as it is man's.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Sounds like someone doesn't like sharing the lake with the geese. I imagine the geese don't like it much either.

Gillian Olson said...

These are beautiful pictures you have shared of the geese.
We have complaints from people here in Canada about the mess that Canada Geese make too, but so far thank goodness, no one has decided to cull them. It is a difficult problem though, but too bad there isn't a better way than culling them.

ADRIAN said...

They have increased in numbers. I can't see two hundred less being of any use. There are thousands of them. I suspect that the problem will just move elsewhere.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - difficult issue - why not reintroduce wolves? That would solve the problem - and probably make the M6 a little less crowded as well!

Conservation often needs to be more than just benign neglect - but you have to wonder if a cull of this size will make any difference at all. If there are a lot of geese in one area, removing some will probably just allow the others to breed more successfully. Its hard!

Glad you like the Magpie Lark - the geese are good looking birds!

Stewart M

The Herald said...

I guess this is always going to be a problem where tourism meets nature, people are quite happy to look at (and feed) the prety end but all to quick to complain about the dirty end!!

I don't see that slaughtering just 200 geese is going to make much difference though. I may be talking drivel here but would it not be an idea to give somebody who's out of work a job for a couple of weeks during the nesting period to go around and remove all the eggs from he nests?...[;o)

Jim Deans said...

Neutral on the culling Andrew, but these are great photographs.

JM said...

It's a beautiful goose I had the chance to see in London. All shots are great and the last one is so funny! :-)

Ruby said...

This is cruel and merciless. Seriously, even a lake full of geese droppings isn't going to pollute the world. What exactly are the "environmental problems"?? There is no sensitivity killing healthy birds for dirty grasslands :( The rangers words scream "Management bullshit" - you know just some fancy terms. How exactly are we "controlling wildlife" - are the geese population endangering some species into extinction? Why does the ranger not give actual facts instead of such lame excuses? He makes it sound like Mercy killing, a favor to them. :(( And its ridiculous when he says they will shoot them in pairs - how on earth will he be sure?

The shots are stunning and the geese is beautiful. Cheers! Ruby

NewMexiKen said...

Florida may be the world capitol for exotic invasive species. Of the birds, Muscovy Ducks are as pesky as native Canada Geese can be up north, but they are protected by local ordinances against "harassment" such as chasing them off the back patio with a broom. Eradication of Purple Swamphens has been totally unsuccessful, and they continue to spread. Sacred Ibises are also subject to extermination.

dreamfalcon said...

I love the last photo - but all of them are beautiful ... less is the story behind it...

Crafty Gardener said...

Lovely images of the Canada Geese. I'm not in favour of culling.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I used to work at a college that had a problem with them and they brought in special dogs that chased them off the property, but didn't harm them. Just forced them to move on.

I love the head shots - so beautiful!

Carletta said...

How could anyone look at images such as yours and harm them. Can 200 out of 1000 really help that much? I'm not in favor at all.

Your shots are just lovely!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

Oh boy this is a loaded question
Andrew. I've written, rather facetiously I'm afraid, about my love-hate relationship with Canada geese (at our Oregon spot)....but culling sounds so cruel and cold..especially when you look at those faces. However, introduced ..or invasive .. species can wreak havoc with native wildlife, so I am afraid I must agree that the wildlife management may have a point here. I am sorry.

Larry said...

Beautiful images of the Canada Geese Andrew. I'm afraid that I understand this problem all too well. The Canada Goose is a non-native, invasive species in your location, just as European Starlings and House Sparrows are here in the U.S. Any non-native species eventually wreaks havoc on native species by shrinking their habitat and taking their breeding places.

If we had controlled European Starlings back in 1890, when they were brought here, we wouldn't have over 200 million of them in the U.S. now.

I'm glad to hear that if they are going to cull them that they are taking pairs which they can identify at breeding time. There is nothing more heart breaking than seeing a bird mourning the loss of its lifelong partner.

Susan said...

I'm all about leaving nature alone.

Vicky said...

And I QUOTE from Steve Tatlock ---

There was never any claim that it is only the geese that are polluting the lake or even that they are the major pollutant source on the lake. As you quite rightly point out we have problems with an antiquated sewer system that ejects raw sewage into the lake at the times of storm events

SO WHY KILL THE GEESE?????