Ducks Unlimited NZ
Thursday, 02 April 2020 13:22

Report on Operation Branta (Canada Geese)

Written by F N Hayes
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Mr F.N. Hayes re—stated DU's objective to permanently establish the Canada goose in the North _ Island, which is being achieved by transferring geese from the South Island and releasing them in a pinioned state on to suitable dams and lagoons. He outlined the history of the project, since 1977, concerning geese supplied from the South Island and also those bred by North Island DU members and zoological societies and supplied to the project. The majority of geese have been distributed to farmers in the Wairarapa in groups of 6—8 birds per lagoon. The Wellington Acclimatisation Society Senior Field Officer has been largely responsible for distribution of geese in the Wairarapa district and DU's appreciation was extended to Mr Ian Buchanan and to the Society for its co-Operation. Thanks were also expressed to the North Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. Mr P.M. McLeod received special thanks for his part in arranging shipments of geese to the North Island since 1977 - also Mr L. Piper of the North Canterbury Society's game farm for his outstanding assistance.
The establishment of the species in the North Island was progressing well and apart from the good breeding results in the Wairarapa, very healthy populations were being established in the Bay of Plenty where approximately 200 birds exist, and in Hawkes Bay where there is about the same number.
 
These populations have grown from wildlife Service releases in the l960/70s.

Concern was expressed at recent moves in the South Island to return the Canada goose to a non-protected status there. Canada geese are partially protected at present and DU considered a change in this status (achieved only last year) would ultimately lead to the species' annihilation in the South Island. Comments were made from the chair and the floor that the Canada goose in New Zealand has been and possibly still is one of the most maligned and abused forms of wildlife. A decision had to be made whether to manage the goose constructively or destructively while, at the same time, acknowledging all viewpoints commented Mr Hayes.

These remarks were followed by comments from members on the need to keep in perspective the whole question of Canada Geese in New Zealand and the President confirmed that Ducks Unlimited would be closely monitoring the situation.

 
 

 

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