The 18th Conference of Goose Specialist Group was held on 27-30 March 2018 at Klaipeda University, Lithuania. It was organized by Klaipeda University, on behalf of the Baltic Valley Association and Goose Specialist Group, the conference was a significant event, bringing together 102 participants from 22 countries. The programme, a book of abstracts and conference photos can be viewed on http://apc.ku.lt/geese/
The conference revolved around topics related to wild geese populations, which varied from the assessment of current state of goose populations and their ecology to the impact of global change and other anthropogenic activities. The keynote speakers Ray T. Alisaukas (Canada) with “Status of the North American Arctic Goose Populations” and Anthony David Fox (Denmark) with “Status and abundance of Eurasian goose populations: winners and losers” inspired all the participants. Barwolt S. Ebbinge presented history of all 18 conferences of Goose Specialist Group.
Scientific committee members Andrea Kölzsch (Germany), Bart Nolet and Thomas Lameris (the Netherlands), Modestas Ružauskas (Lithuania) competently reviewed abstracts, received before the event, and arranged a programme. It included five sessions: a) Population dynamics and management; b) Reproduction ecology and species interactions; c) Eco-physiology and diseases; d) Migration and stopover ecology; e) Impact of global change and anthropogenic activities. In these conference sessions, waterfowl ornithologists from Europe, Asia, and America shared their knowledge in 48 oral presentations and 26 posters.
There were three workshops which involved participants to active discussions. The first conference day was finished with presentations and discussions on “Interaction of geese and wind farms” (moderated by Eileen Rees and Anna Harrison). The second workshop was designated to better understanding of nowadays’ tracking methods (How to answer research questions with tracking devices?“ (moderated by Andrea Kölzsch and Thomas Lameris). The closing workshop discussed the “Coordination of goose monitoring in Europe” (moderated by Gitte Høj Jensen). The speakers and all participants were enlighten about needed monitoring efforts to estimate geese populations in Europe.