France authorises hunt to curb Canada goose invasion

29th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

France said Thursday it is to allow hunting of the Canada goose from next summer in a bid to curb growing numbers of the non-indigenous bird which is becoming a nuisance to the local environment.

The environment ministry said the hunt would be allowed from August 2012 to February 2013 and again the following year. The policy will be reviewed in 2015 to see if the hunt should be continued.

Introduced to Europe in the 17th century, the Canada goose, or branta canadensi, has spread throughout the continent in growing numbers.

From only several hundred in France at the start of the 1990s, the bird has reproduced rapidly and there are now thousands in the country.

Ecologists have said geese droppings are polluting local waters and green spaces and that their territorial nature has seen them infringing on the nesting places of indigenous waterfowl.

Canada geese have been considered a nuisance in other countries and in March the government in New Zealand changed their protection status to allow farmers, park owners and aviation officials to cull the birds.

They have also been described as a danger to aviation safety and last year US officials culled nearly 1,700 around New York airports after a US Airways airliner collided with a flock of the birds before safely crashing into the Hudson River.

© 2011 AFP

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