Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Lesser White-fronted goose

Anser erythropus

Dwerggans (Goudooggans) / Zwerggans / Oie naine

 

They resemble the Greater White-fronted geese (Anser albifrons), but are smaller and have a yellow line around their eyes. They are the smallest among the gray geese (Anser) and breed in Tundra areas close to the woods. They used to breed in Northern Scandinavia too, but have become exctinct there. They hibernate around the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. These days they only breed in Siberia and hibernate along parts of the coast of the Caspian Sea and in Iran. There are Lesser white-fronted geese that hibernate in China, but by hunting among others, their numbers have drastically decreased! The nest, often near some bushes, usually has 4 to 6 eggs, which hatch after 25 to 28 days. Their ringsize is 14 mm. Ring the goslings when these are 10 days old.


This species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN because it has suffered a rapid population reduction in its key breeding population in Russia, and equivalent declines are predicted to continue. The Fennoscandian population has undergone a severe historical decline, and has not yet recovered.

There is an estimated population of 8,000-11,000 autumn individuals in the western Palearctic plus about 20,000 wintering individuals from the east Asian flyway (from 11,800-16,800 counted in 1999, 16,600 in 2003, and 16,937 counted in the Lower Yangtze Valley in 2004). This gives a global estimate of 28,000-33,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 18,000-22,000 mature individuals.

 

Anser_erythropus-02.jpg

Above: adult Lesser White-fronted goose

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