Bonn, 20 August 2020 – Originally scheduled to take place in Helsinki, Finland, the 5th Meeting of the AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group (EGM IWG5) went ahead for the first time in an online conference format from 15 to 18 June 2020. The meeting was chaired by Ms Camilla Uldal from Denmark, who was succeeded as Chair for the next two years by the UK’s Mr Danny Heptinstall.
“I am delighted to be chairing the EGM IWG on behalf of the UK. The EGMP is an innovative multilateral initiative to sustainably and adaptively manage migratory goose species. This cutting-edge species management work allows nations across Europe to collaborate on conserving migratory goose species, while reducing their negative impacts. The UK looks forward to working with all the EGMP Range States to ensure success of this work.”
Danny Heptinstall, UK, new Chair of the EGM IWG
The meeting discussed the Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) programme designed to maintain abundance of the Svalbard population of Pink-footed Geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) near a goal of 60,000 by providing sustainable harvests in Norway and Denmark. This population breeds almost exclusively in Svalbard, and winters primarily in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium with stopover sites (spring and autumn) in Norway.
“In 2013, the Pink-footed Goose ISSMP set out to maintain a sustainable, stable population at 60,000 while reducing the increasing habitat degradation in the breeding grounds and agricultural damage in the wintering grounds. We now see the population size approaching the target due to the adaptive harvest management regulations in Denmark and Norway, which is surely a success for the internationally coordinated management process”.
Jesper Madsen, Aarhus University, Head of the EGMP Data Centre
In a dedicated session to the Taiga Bean Goose (Anser fabalis fabalis), the EGM IWG was presented for the first time with an integrated population model (IPM). The IPM, which was developed by researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, is used to explore several harvest scenarios for consideration for the upcoming 2020/2021 hunting season of Taiga Bean Geese in the Central Management Unit. The Central Management Unit encompasses breeding areas in northernmost Sweden, northern and central Finland, north-east Norway, and in Russian Karelia, the Kola Peninsula and Arkhangelsk district. Birds from this Management Unit mostly winter in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, but all stage in Sweden.
The Taiga Bean Goose is one of the few declining goose species in the Western Palearctic, with an International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP) that was developed with a population recovery objective.
The Range States of the species further agreed to strengthen the identification skills and raise awareness on the status of different goose species amongst local hunting communities, as well as communicate achievements on Taiga Bean Goose conservation.
In 2018, the AEWA Parties adopted the International Single Species Management Plans (ISSMPs) for the Barnacle Goose and for the north-west/south-west European Population of Greylag Goose, to manage the species’ populations whilst ensuring their favourable conservation status. The ISSMPs provide a mandate for developing Adaptive Flyway Management Programmes (AFMPs) which serve as a basis for coordinated conservation and management action for the species in a manner that is consistent with their legal obligations.
The EGM IWG agreed on the process and next steps for the finalization and implementation of the AFMPs, which are envisaged to be ready for final adoption in June 2021, at the next meeting of the EGM IWG (EGM IWG6).
Three species-specific Task Forces for the Barnacle Goose and for the Greylag Goose were established, in order to stimulate and support the EGM IWG in the implementation of agreed actions.
"As the Coordinator of the Agriculture Task Force, I am really looking forward to a cross-cutting collaboration with the newly established species Task Forces and to support the implementation of the Barnacle Goose and Greylag Goose Adaptive Flyway Management Programmes”
Ingunn Tombre, Norway, Coordinator of the EGMP Agriculture Task Force
Finland renewed its offer to host the next EGM IWG meeting in Helsinki in June 2021.
Despite some limitations of the online format, the meeting benefited from fruitful discussions and essential decisions paving the way for further progress of EGMP activities.
The full report of the meeting will appear on the AEWA EGMP website in due course.
For more information please visit the EGMP website or contact the EGMP Coordinator Ms Eva Meyers.
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