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The Harnham Water Meadows Framework Management Plan - Contents

14. Canada Geese and other birds

14.1 John Vickerman is undertaking fortnightly bird surveys (November 2007 to October 2008). This is yielding valuable information and is informing forward planning including the planting of new boundaries.

14.2 The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a non-native alien bird species in the United Kingdom which, since it is generally a colonial feeder and breeder, can cause damage to the habitat it occupies through soil compaction, erosion and eutrophication. In addition, their large size and often aggressive nature tends to dissuade other bird species from feeding and breeding in the same habitat where the Canada Goose is present in significant numbers. A flock of Canada Geese up to 70 in number spends significant periods of time on the Harnham Water Meadows SSSI.

14.3 Apart from competing with site grazing, a management strategy should be devised that reduces the population in favour of wading birds that also expands opportunities for invertebrates and other species of ecological value. Scrape areas for birds are desirable, however, unless all of these control measures are effectively addressed, it is questionable whether a scrape areamight even be contemplated. The Canada Goose and its control is the key. ANNEX XII presents a detailed discussion paper by John Vickerman.

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