CABWIM Wildlife research and consultancy


Geese are protected. Despite this, many thousands are shot. Research shows that 30% of geese fly around with hail in their bodies. That implies a lot of animal suffering. Because they eat grass or other agricultural crops. The Netherlands has a lot of open land and a lot of grass. So no matter where you shoot, there are always fields to reach where there is grass to eat. And because it doesn't matter to farmers in winter that grass is eaten, the geese get through the winter without any shortage. So their reproduction runs at full speed. 

Key to the problem is accessibility to farm fields and the lack of a good alternative, such as along the water where they like to be. 

Access can be restricted by moving a wire back and forth across the field. Geese need space to flee. That space is restricted in the goose's perception when it sees a wire coming towards it. And they quickly learn that they shouldn't be in that field then. Together with Axum Engineering we are developing this. Measurements of grass growth show that grass quickly becomes so long and fibrous that it is no longer attractive to geese.

The alternative to the geese is white clover. Our research with the Louis Bolk Institute shows that clover is 5 times more attractive to geese than fertilised grass. 

Clover applied along the water's edge while a moving wire makes the farm fields next to it inaccessible, gives peace and quiet to geese and farmers.