Canada Geese question

To: "Gordon and Pam" <>
Subject: Canada Geese question
From: "Chris Sanderson" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 10:20:41 +1100
Hi Gordon,

Two good questions without easy answers.  As Andrew says, Canada Geese are
feral in New Zealand, so it makes it difficult to pigeonhole what they would
be classed as in Australia should they get a foothold.  I guess my instinct
is to still call them feral here, because they originate from a feral

With the second question, I doubt anyone could predict exactly the effect
they might have should they gain a foothold, however in many ways that is
the exact reason they shouldn't be allowed to.  They may compete with the
Cape Barren Geese, driving them closer to extinction.  They may compete with
Freckled Ducks.  They may breed up and foul natural water systems, leading
to eutrophocation and fish and animal deaths from bacteria poisoning.
Disease has already been mentioned as a possibility.  Or they may have no
effect and never gain a major foothold.  Given that there's even a remote
chance of any of the first three, isn't it better to make sure they don't
gain a foothold?  Considered in the cold light of economics control now
makes far more sense.  How much does it cost to send a ranger now to shoot
four birds, compared to 1000 birds in 5 years, or 100 000 in 20 years?  What
about the potential economic damage to farms if water supplies are fouled
and livestock can't drink, or do and get sick?

Anyway, as you may have guessed when it comes to introducing fauna and flora
into Australia I follow the precautionary principle: if you don't know the
impact it will have (which you never do), don't introduce it/allow it to be
introduced.  It's not worth the risk.


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