The solutions to the brent goose problem: an economic analysis.
Five possible solutions to the problem of over-wintering brent geese (Branta bernicla) grazing on farmers' crops in the UK are described: maintaining the status quo, culling brent geese, paying compensation to farmers and setting up alternative feeding areas on set aside land or reserves. The financial costs and benefits associated with each solution are calculated with respect to society as a whole (the taxpayer), farmers, conservationists and the supporters of wildfowl. A cost-benefit analysis shows the optimal financial solution for society to be the establishment of alternative feeding areas, whereas the optimal solution for farmers would be the payment of compensation. The results of this analysis are considered in relation to the other 'use and non-use values' associated with the five solutions and the implications for the management of the brent goose population in the UK are discussed.