In order to analyse costs and benefits of different management scenarios of geese populations, a social cost-benefit analysis has been conducted focusing on wintering barnacle geese in Northern Netherlands. We compared management scenarios with current policy: optimizing the refuge areas for geese; optimizing damage control outside refuges; increase culling so that the damage becomes socially acceptable. In a workshop with the relevant stakeholders, these scenarios have been compared to the costs and benefits as achieved by current policy. Differences were detected between the scores of stakeholders and scientific data, which appears to be linked to the fact that in the Netherlands, refuge management for geese and derogation shooting have not always been conducted effectively. It also appears that there are significantly different perceptions between stakeholders about effective goose management scenarios and their associated costs and benefits. The differences between the scores and the scientific data could be used to deepen the insights and further the improvement of management. A comprehensive assessment of cost and benefit of barnacle geese wintering in the Netherlands is difficult to realize in practice due to lack of data. Costs often attract far more attention than benefits, especially when the latter have a public rather than a commercial nature and because they are often widely enjoyed (e.g. by bird lovers, tourists). Understanding benefits related to geese and better assessment of the size of the stakeholder group may also generate new economic activities, for example in the tourism sector.