Aarhus University Seal

International data centre for geese

International Data Centre of the AEWA European Goose Management Platform: serving adaptive management of geese

Several European populations of geese are burgeoning and cause increasingly problems for agriculture, vulnerable ecosystems and air safety. There is a need for internationally coordinated and agreed adaptive management of the populations. Based on the first experiences from the adaptive management plan for the pink-footed goose, the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) has instigated a platform for the management of European goose populations. Aarhus University will serve as data centre for this new initiative.


The objective of the AEWA European Goose Management Platform (EGMP) data centre is to collate information about the current status and distribution of the goose species and populations included. The information includes population, demographic and harvest data as well as socio-economic data on agricultural damage etc. The data centre will provide annual assessments on population status and projections of optimal harvest strategies, to be used in the annual adaptive decision-making process by the International Working Group for the EGMP.

The data centre collaborates with member states to the EGMP. The data centre uses state-of-the-art predictive population models and dynamic programming to provide assessments and forecasting.

Project description

According to Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (Resolution 6.4., Meeting of the Parties, Bonn, November 2015), the AEWA Secretariat got the mandate to facilitate the establishment of a European multispecies goose management platform (AEWA EGMP) to address sustainable use of goose populations and to provide for the resolution of human-goose conflicts. To further the monitoring and assessment process in support of the EGMP, the AEWA Secretariat and Aarhus University, Denmark (AU) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation under which AU shall serve as data centre for the EGMP. The EGMP data centre has been established as of January 2017. A fulltime monitoring coordinator has been employed to coordinate data collation, organization and summaries. AU has made a technical agreement with the US Geological Survey to support model development.

An international goose modelling consortium will be set-up in spring 2017 to collaborate on the development of integrated population models for the populations currently included under the EGMP, viz. the Svalbard pink-footed goose, taiga bean goose, barnacle goose (three populations) and greylag goose (NW-SW European population). Scientific institutions included so far are: AU, Wageningen University, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO), ALTERRA, SOVON, The Netherlands and ONCFS, France. AU will be responsible for the coordination of the work.

In 2017, monitoring networks will be established within the EGMP member states as well as with the International Waterbird Census of Wetlands International and other data holders. The data centre will set up databases and GIS projects to store and summarise data as well as to ensure flow of data from national and international data holders to the data centre, and vice versa.

Relevant reading

Goose Management: From local to flyway scale. Special Issue of the scientific journal Ambio (Supplement, March 2017, guest editors A.D. Fox and J. Madsen).