NatureScot Commissioned Report 756: Status and population viability of Svalbard barnacle geese in Scotland
This report describes a new Population Viability Analysis of the Svalbard barnacle goose population which winters almost exclusively around the Solway Firth. The population has increased over recent decades to number approximately 34,000 birds in 2011. No survival or reproductive trends were apparent in the population data, so a stochastic, density-independent population model was developed using average parameters. In the absence of shooting, the model predicts an annual growth rate of 4.9%, which is close to the observed trend. The model is used to make predictions for how changes in shooting pressure may influence future population trajectories, along with associated risks of decline, and the potential impacts of future management regimes are discussed.
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