Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has today reiterated his call for ongoing support to help with the management of resident Greylag geese in the islands.
Mr McArthur’s call comes in response to NatureScot's decision to step back from any financial support for adaptive management (AM) schemes for Resident Greylag Geese (RGL) and offer a simple ‘advisory’ role going forwards. The decision has been communicated to Local Goose Management Groups (LGMGs) in Uist, Tiree and Coll, Lewis and Harris, and Orkney.
NFU Scotland has called on NatureScot to reverse its decision warning that failure to provide financial and practical support risks geese numbers and the populations "rapidly" increasing.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“There is a recognised need for resident greylag geese numbers to be managed given the damaging impact they can have on crops and farmland.
"Efforts to control these numbers have enjoyed some success over recent years, but more certainly needs to be done. Indeed, restrictions in place during Covid have prevented much of the planned activity from taking place.
“It may be the case that NatureScot is not the most appropriate route through which ongoing support should be channelled. However, the need remains and no support should be withdrawn until alternative options have put in place by the Scottish Government.
"The Environment Minister, Mairi McAllan, has accepted my invitation to visit Orkney next month to see for herself the extent of the problem. I look forward to discussing with the Minister and NFUS Orkney how best to ensure that local goose management measures can be sustained into the future."