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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Introduce voluntary ‘maximum shoot distances’ Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A replicated, randomised before-and-after study from Denmark found that significantly fewer pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus were wounded but not killed, following the implementation of a voluntary maximum shooting distance.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, randomised before-and-after study in March from 1998-2005 in one wetland area in which 150-500 pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus were monitored annually in Jutland, Denmark (Noer et al. 2007) found that the implementation of a voluntary restriction on maximum shooting distance (25 m) in 1997 significantly reduced injury rate during the hunting season. The proportion of wounded first-year and older geese significantly decreased over the study period (7–11% and 18% decrease by 2005 respectively). A simple population dynamic model predicted these decreases to be consistent with a c. 60% reduction of numbers wounded for both age classes. Since 1997, the total annual number of harvested geese in Denmark increased from 15,000 to 30,000. Thus, the authors point out, reductions in numbers wounded did not appear to have had any negative impact on harvest size. A mobile surgical X-ray unit was used to screen for shot. Recaptures accounted for just 1% of the sample.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Bird Conservation. Pages 141-290 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.