Success factors behind multi-stakeholder management of geese in an agricultural landscape
2016 (English)In: 7th North American Duck Symposium: waterfowl ecology and adaptive management, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
On both sides of the Atlantic, geese are a major management challenge, not least because of shifting distributions, increased availability of nutritious agricultural forage, and unprecedented growth of some populations. In northwest Europe, managers face the task of devising management strategies for areas with up to 10 co-occurring goose species. These taxa range from being globally threatened to over-abundant, usually present in mixed-species assemblages whose composition change seasonally. I present a case study from a densely populated agricultural region in south Sweden where goose numbers and damage by geese on crops have increased dramatically during recent decades. A goose management group (GMG) was founded in 2002 comprising landowners, farmers, hunters, ornithologists, conservation NGOs, and local and county level administration. The GMG has autonomy to self-organize and a key point is that it has neither legal jurisdiction nor authority to make formal decisions. This makes the GMG adaptive, free to react quickly to signals from the socio-ecological system. In essence, the GMG provides a collaborative arena for sharing experiences and discussing conflicts. With time this has built trust between stakeholders so that there is no longer any disagreement over input variables such as goose numbers, bag size, and magnitude of crop damage. Further GMG success factors are its continuity over time, that it is embedded in the local community, and that some of its members also represent authorities that do have jurisdiction over hunting permits and crop damage reimbursement. This is an example of how human-wildlife conflicts can be reduced and defused by simple means. Interestingly, GMG members as well as people outside the group consider it a success even though it has not led to reduced goose numbers locally, illustrating that understanding the sociology of management conflicts is often just as important as understanding biological details of the system.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-16057OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-16057DiVA: diva2:971885
7th North American Duck Symposium, Annapolis, MD, 2-5 February 2016