Harteman Wildfowl | kvk 90846257 | ubn 6872294

Pink-footed goose

Anser brachyrhynchus

Kleine rietgans / Kurtzschnabelgans / Oie à bec court


The Pink-footed Goose is a goose which breeds in eastern Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. It is migratory, wintering in northwest Europe, especially Great Britain, the Netherlands, and western Denmark. 

There are two largely discrete populations of Pink-footed Goose. The Greenland and Iceland population winter in Great Britain, while the Svalbard population winters in the Netherlands and Denmark, with small numbers also in Norway (where it is common on migration), northern Germany, and Belgium.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern (IUCN, 2012).

The species is hunted illegally in the spring in Iceland which may become a threat (Kear 2005a). Disturbance from hunting on spring staging grounds in Norway has major negative impact on breeding success, and persecution (shooting and disturbance) of the species by farmers is likely to increase in the future if populations increase (due to the species's impact on agricultural grassland) (Kear 2005a). Disturbance from farmers discouraging foraging individuals from their land in the winter has been shown to reduce the species's reproductive success in the spring (Madsen 1995), and the species is also threatened by general disturbance (e.g. from helicopters surveying areas for oil exploration) (Mosbech and Glahder 1991). It may be threatened by land-management changes (such as a reduction in the intensity of management and land abandonment) (Tombre et al. 2005), and by future habitat loss such as the development of hydroelectric projects on interior rivers in Iceland (which would flood a major moulting area) (Kear 2005a). The nesting success of breeding pairs in Svalbard is greatly reduced as a result of arctic fox Vulpes lagopus predation (Madsen et al. 1992). The species is subject to hunting in Svalbard, Norway and Denmark, although mortality due to hunting does not seem to be a major factor controlling population sizes (O'Connell et al. 2006).

The Pink-footed Goose is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

More information: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22679872/0 


Above: Pink-footed goose, adult


Above: Pink-footed goose, adult

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