Organisation - June 21, 2012

GPS transmitter saves goose's life

Goose survives hunter's bullet thanks to collar.


Thanks to a collar fitted with a GPS tracker, a graylag goose escaped with its life when a hunter took aim at it.  The evidence is a hole, bang in the middle of the number 3 on the white collar. A bullet hole, says researcher David Kleijn with conviction. He has seen holes like this before in leg rings on geese. 'Science saved this goose's life. If that collar hadn't been there, the bullet would have gone right through its neck. It wouldn't have survived that.'
The goose in questions is one of 21 that were fitted out with a collar carrying a GPS tracker in June 2010. The aim of the trial is to find out as much as possible about the whereabouts of graylag geese. Kleijn: 'We want to get an idea of the geese's use of space. That will enable us to design the landscape so as to minimize the problems caused to farmers by the geese.'
According to Kleijn it is not likely that the tracker made the goose an easy target. 'Those yellowish white collars are not very noticeable. They are almost the same colour as the goose's breast. What is more, hunters in the area were sent a letter expressly asking them not to shoot at geese wearing trackers. But you never know, of course.'