African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement:
An AEWA International Single Species Action Planning Workshop for the Taiga Bean Goose (Anser f. fabalis) took place on the 12 – 14 of November 2013 in Tuusula, Finland. The meeting was hosted by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Finnish Wildlife Agency and was attended by representatives from 11 of the 14 principal range states for the species as well as representatives from the international conservation and hunting communities and the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat. This action-planning process is the first of its kind under AEWA as it deals with a declining population for which an adaptive harvest framework is foreseen to be developed.
The Taiga Bean Goose is a quarry species in many range states that has experienced a long-term decline mainly contributed to overharvest and habitat loss. The species was therefore upgraded to Category 3c* in Table 1 Column A of the AEWA Action Plan at the 5th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to AEWA in May 2012 in France and was prioritized for an AEWA International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP).
The long-term goal for the species will be to restore the population to a favourable conservation status and workshop participants agreed that in the short term – within the next 10 years – the population should be stabilized at least at the current level. In addition, participants agreed to divide the Taiga Bean Goose population into four sub-populations or management units based on their clearly distinct breeding areas: Western (West Sweden, North-Western Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom), Central (Russia (Karelia), Finland, Sweden, Northern Norway, Eastern Denmark), Eastern 1 (Russia (W Siberia), Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands in cold winters) and Eastern 2 ( Russia (W Siberia), Kazakhstan, North-Western China, East Kirgizstan).
The workshop also prioritized activities to be implemented by range states immediately, in order to obtain more key information on the species. These include undertaking an analysis of available data for the Taiga Bean Goose to determine delineation of stocks, survival rates, and likely sustainable levels of off-take in comparison with current levels as well as ensuring adequate annual monitoring in all appropriate range states, including coordinated mid-winter counts to estimate population sizes (starting in January 2014), productivity, marking to monitor annual survival and hunting bag statistics. The main workshop outcomes as well as the activities for immediate implementation will be communicated to all range states by the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat.
Next steps in the action-planning process will include the consultation of the draft ISSAP being prepared by the drafting team with the governments of all principal range states during the second half of 2014. The final draft is expected to be submitted for adoption to the 6th Meeting of the AEWA Parties in 2015.
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