Windermere’s ‘polluting’ Canada geese to be culled

It appears there are far too many Canada geese in and around Lake Windermere which because of the pollution they are causing the Lake District National Park Authority are now making plans to carry out a cull in the spring.

National Park Rangers claim the 1,000 geese in Windermere have been causing environmental problems by grazing and polluting the lake with droppings. They insist the cull will be carried out “sensitively” using silenced shotguns, in spring when the geese start to nest.

The geese pair for life and, as the male and female will be in one place, the process will be less cruel.

The Canada goose was first introduced to England in the 17th Century to grace the waterfowl collections of wealthy individuals.

With few natural predators, Canada geese are now listed as a “pest species” by Natural England.

Steve Tatlock, Lake District National Park Authority ranger, described the cull as the end of a long process.

Could the introduction of the White-tailed eagle help resolve this Cumbrian dilemma?

It seems that at least one proposal has so far not been tried or even considered by park planners, the reintroduction of the White-tailed eagle. In Eastern Europe where White-tailed eagles are very common Geese, including Canada, are very much on this eagle’s menu. Cumbrian conservationists like John Miles consider the Lake District National Park to be the ideal region where this top avian predator could be reintroduced bringing huge tourism benefits to Cumbria all round. John also feels the problem of Canada geese could be addressed at the same time without the need for any cull, sensitive or otherwise. Read more here “Will Cumbria be the new release location for the White-tailed eagle?”

‘Reduce stress’

“We’ve tried all the ways that are often successful in small urban areas, such as fencing or egg oiling, but it’s only made a small difference,” he said.

“This is not something we will do lightly. It’s not a question of blasting them out of the skies or off the water.

“This is going to take place on land, and at that time of year we are pretty sure we can get pairs in one go to reduce the stress.”

He added: “It’s a sensitive issue, controlling wildlife whether natural or introduced.

“We’re aware of that, but we’re involved in the wider management of a wider environment here.

“It’s about controlling the impact that invasive species have, and maintaining a natural balance.”

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