Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

£41million of drones and lasers to be used to scare geese from Scottish island

Goosebuster in action in Canada
Goosebuster in action in Canada

Drones and lasers could be deployed by the Scottish Government in a £41million bid to rid an island of its rampaging populations of geese.

Islay has 70% of the world’s barnacle and white-fronted geese – but the birds are acting like “a swarm of locusts” according to angry farmers.

A report reveals that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has already tried and failed to control the flocks using bizarre methods such as self-launching kites, helium balloons, fireworks and a gas-inflated, siren-blazing ‘scary man’ mannequin.

However, the birds barely paid any notice and SNH is planning a tougher strategy, amid pressure from Islay farmers concerned about the damage geese are causing to their £11million-a-year industry.

Radio-controlled drone aircraft, powerful laser beams and robotic four wheel drive vehicles are among the techniques being considered to drive away the geese.

If that fails, a large-scale cull could be ordered, either by shooting or covering geese eggs in oil and smothering the chicks inside.

The controversial crackdown – which is opposed by groups including the RSPB – will cost taxpayers between £30million-£41million over the next 15 years.

A spokesman for SNH said: “We are currently finalising a new longer term goose management strategy for Islay. This will reduce the crop damage caused by barnacle geese, improve habitat for white-fronted geese and make best use of available funding.

“The aim is for a pragmatic approach that balances the need to support sustainable goose populations with the interests of Islay farmers and the limitations on available budgets.”

Almost 5,000 of the 55,000 geese have already been legally culled since 2011 by farmers, who have also received almost £850,000 in compensation.

The Islay Sustainable Goose Management Strategy devised by SNH’s and the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) aims to cut the population by 30%.

A spokesman from RSPB said: “Though we acknowledge that geese can affect farm profits, we have expressed our opposition to this plan, and questioned its compliance with international law.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]
Tags

More from the Press and Journal News team

More from the Press and Journal