Goose Management in the Wadden Sea Region

October 2020: WSF invites to an informal meeting regarding trilateral Goose management

BrentGeese_Sneum_Forland_JohnFrikkeThe WSF takes part in AEWA meetings as an observer. This year, the two scheduled meetings (EGM IWG and Taskforce Agriculture) were held as online meetings due to the current situation. Documents from the multi-day online meeting of the EGM IWG can be viewed at The Agriculture Taskforce met in September 2020 to discuss the work plan for 2021. The contents of this work plan include the closer cooperation with the modeling group and the processing of the topic "cost estimation of goose management". More information at:
In the past, the WSF has made various attempts to deal with the challenges in Goose management on a trilateral basis (see below). Regular meetings of the former Goose management working group were suspended. With the discussion about the future work plan in the Taskforce Agriculture at AEWA level, the interest in working on the ongoing challenges in connection with Goose management in the trilateral Wadden Sea region was rekindled. For this reason, the WSF organized an informal meeting of interested parties in October 2020. At this meeting, the existing problems, conflicts and possible solutions, but also positive developments, were exchanged between the participants. The participants consisted of the administration and ministries of the Wadden Sea Region as well as representatives from agriculture. Interested persons are welcome to contact the WSF secretariat for further information. In the future, the WSF Secretariat will hold a meeting on certain topics within the trilateral framework for Goose management.

2019: WSF Goose Management Newspaper Article

Ostfriesische-Nachrichten_E-Paper-4Jan2020Recently the "Ostfriesische Nachrichten" placed an article about our position regarding Goosemanagement. "Farmers are annoyed about damages caused by barnacle geese. Wadden Sea Forum calls for a quick solution for agriculture in Leer and complains about the inactivity of the regions." (read the full article in German).
See more information on Goosemanagement down on this page.

2019: WSF Resolution Goose Management

WSF-Resolution-Goosemanagement-2019The WSF plenary discussed in its meeting on 18-19 November the process of implementing the AEWA management plans for Greylag and Barnacle geese on flyway level. These management plans were adopted by the range states in December 2018. For the implementation in the different countries Favorable Reference Values (FRVs) have to be defined. As this process is lacking, the WSF elaborated a resolution, which requests the responsible ministries to speed up the process and support the AEWA concept. The Meeting adopted the resolution without any vote of dissent. See more information and documents down on this page.

Goose Management under AEWA Project

AEWA Goosemanagement logoIn 2015 the WSF goose management group worked on concrete steps to implement the trilateral goose management scheme. The installation of a management group under the responsibilities of the regional governments (province or state level) failed due to low commitment. Further management tasks are beyond the power and responsibility of the WSF and following, it was decided to suspend the regular meetings of the goose working group. Nevertheless, the WSF is going to cooperate with national and international initiatives to minimize the impacts of increasing migratory goose populations in Europe on economic activities and natural ecosystems.

A step forward was taken at the international conference on goose management on 27-29 October 2015 in Denmark. Recommendations for a sound management on flyway level and the establishment of an “European Goose Management Platform” were agreed on and forwarded to the 6th Session of the Meeting of the Parties of AEWA in Bonn in November 2015 at which the recommendations were adopted.

Meanwhile, the AEWA Goose Management Platform as wells as a working group as coordinating and decision making body of the Platform has been installed. “ The inter-governmental AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group (hereinafter referred to as EGM IWG) is constituted to serve as the coordinating and decision-making body of the AEWA European Goose Management Platform established under the auspices of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), following AEWA Resolution 6.4, with the goal to ensure the conservation and sustainable use, as well as the favourable conservation status of the migratory goose species and populations to which it applies. The European Goose Management Platform operates in line with existing international obligations and the pertinent legislative frameworks and regulations, as relevant in each range state, including AEWA, the Bern Convention and the EU Birds Directive for the range states to which these apply”.

At the 7th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP7), 4-8 December 2018 in Durban, two further international single integrated management plans for the goose species Barnacle Goose and Greylag Goose were adopted.

pdf download:

AEWA Management Plan Barnacle Goose
AEWA Management Plan Greylag Goose
AEWA Management Plan Pink-footed Goose
AEWA Geese management measures
WSF Resolution Goosemanangement 2019

Further information:

AEWA approach Barnacle and Greylag Geese - by Jesper Madsen

AEWA European Goose Management Platform, 30 November 2017

Status of AEWA Goose Management Plans by Jesper Madsen,
Head of AEWA European Goose Management Platform Data Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark

AEWA website Goosemanagement Plattform Homepage

AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group (EGM IWG)

Article about international collaboration to manage migratory geese

Outcomes of the international conference on GOOSE MANAGEMENT

Results goose conference DK October 2015GOOSE MANAGEMENT: CHALLENGES 2015
27-29 October 2015, Gram Slot, Denmark

2009 - 2015: WSF Trilateral Goose Management Working Group

flying geeseThe proper management of geese is an issue of increasing relevance in the Wadden Sea Region due to increasing numbers of geese and improved cropping systems favored by geese. On the one hand geese are a natural part of the Wadden Sea and adjoining mainland coastal areas and are a typical element of the Wadden Sea Region biodiversity for which the Wadden Sea states have an international responsibility. They also constitute an important touristic attraction. On the other hand, some goose species cause increasing damage to farmlands, while current management schemes for geese are highly variable between countries and liable to further improvement and harmonization.

geese on amelandA Goose Management Group set up under the Wadden Sea Forum (WSF) with the participation of representatives of national and regional authorities and relevant stakeholders elaborated a report on Goose Management for the Wadden Sea Region, delivered to the 11th Wadden Sea Conference (TGC) in 2010. The report contains an extensive analysis of the development of relevant goose populations and the national management schemes in place. Furthermore the report presented an extensive catalogue of management recommendations and guidance for a Wadden Sea Region wide management. The Sylt Declaration welcomed specifically the WSF goose management guidance and the ministers declared their willingness to support the development of a Goose Management Plan in cooperation with relevant authorities, to achieve a balanced management to accommodate geese in the Wadden Sea Region.

But it became clear, however, that the elaboration of a concrete Goose Management Plan is a huge challenge and may not be possible at the level of detail required for a management plan. Therefore, it became more realistic to elaborate a plan, which is a framework scheme on strategic level, similar to the 2010 report, but with integration of more concrete management measures and defined responsibilities. Following, it was agreed to re-establish a Goose Management Group with representatives of farmer organizations, regional authorities, scientists and NGO's. In December 2013, the GMG presented the final goose management framework scheme, which was also forwarded for decision to the 12th Trilateral Governmental Conference in February 2014 in Tønder, DK.

WSF Goose Management Plan 2010Goose Report 2010

print quality
(41pp, English, 3,76 MB)

WSF Goose Management Scheme 2014Goose Report 2014

print quality
(51pp, English, 3,77 MB)