Over the last 40 years, the numbers have gone up from around 200,000 to about half a million, and the growth trend seems to be picking up, Professor Jesper Madsen, the head of the Institute for Bioscience at Aarhus University, told Danish Radio.
"We expect the numbers of barnacle geese to increase from 500,000 to 3 million over the next 10 years. Obviously, this will cause more problems for air traffic," Jesper Madsen said, citing the availability of food both in Denmark, further south and in nature reserves in northern Russia, where the geese spend the summer.
A solid 103 Barnacle Goose rings read…..a productive day I'd say! pic.twitter.com/KBDja4j0Vm— Daniel Gornall (@Dan_Gornall) 15 февраля 2017 г.
Unsurprisingly, the number of birds which collide is high. Between 1997 and 2006, only three collisions between geese and aircraft happened around Copenhagen Airport. In the ensuing decade, the number rose to 16.
Jesper Madsen also suggested that the growing geese populations also posed a problem for agriculture, having withdrawn from their Arctic breeding grounds and learned to exploit their conservation status across Europe.
"At the same time, many countries have protected the wild geese for decades, and so modern agriculture has become an open pantry for geese, and they also have learned to use it," Jesper Madsen said, as quoted by the Danish magazine Ingeniøren.
In an unrelated study, Danish researchers Anders Pape Møller and Johannes Erritzøe related the brain size in birds to the frequency of road accidents. Birds with larger brains were found more likely to cope with the traffic, while crows were reported to do particularly well and possessed the ability to adapt and "learn" the traffic rules. Each year, about 250 million birds die in road accidents across the world.
Copenhagen Airport Kastrup is the main international airport serving the Danish capital Copenhagen, the entire province of Zealand, the Øresund Region, and a large part of southern Sweden. It is the largest Nordic airport with 29 million passengers in 2016, and one of the oldest international airports in Europe.
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The barnacle goose is a medium-sized goose, reaching 70 centimeters in length, which has a body mass of 2.5 kilograms and a wingspan of 150 centimeters. It has a black upper breast, neck and head, with a white face and belly.
134th for the yearlist. Barnacle Geese at Flint Marsh looking over to Parkgate. pic.twitter.com/SZMqcw8qBK— John Silloth (@JSilloth) 7 марта 2017 г.
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