BASC warns over regulation can harm conservation

BASC has responded to the publication of the Welsh Government’s consultation paper  'Promoting the conservation of White-fronted Geese in Wales' by warning against over regulation and the damage that this can do to nature and threatened species.

The Welsh Government’s consultation seeks views on removing the Greenland White Fronted Goose from the quarry list. Wildfowlers have had a voluntary moratorium on shooting the geese for more than forty years with BASC members playing a key role in programmes to improve their over-wintering success.

Michael Sherman, Vice Chairman of BASC and Vice Chairman of the Dyfi, Mawddach and Dysynni Wildfowlers’ Association, where most Greenland White Fronts over-winter said:

“Efforts to protect these geese have forged an unprecedented alliance between wildfowlers and bird conservation organisations such as the RSPB and WWT. In the last few weeks our efforts on behalf of the geese have been recognised by the award of a Welsh Government grant worth thousands of pounds to help conserve Greenland White Fronts. After forty years of effort from wildfowlers and a recognition by Ministers that keeping them on the quarry list incentivised conservation effort through partnership working it is disappointing to think that there is a need for a further consultation. I urge the Welsh Government to once again support the power of partnership working and ignore calls for precipitate action.”

Tim Russell, BASC’s director of conservation, said: “Good conservation is based on sound evidence. There is no evidence that the moratorium on shooting these geese has been broken and overwhelming evidence that a conservation alliance between wildfowlers and bird conservation bodies is the best hope that the species has. Modern conservation efforts rely on partnership working not bans."