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Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 82,800 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 82,800 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Increasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.5 - - -
Trend justification: The overall trend is suspected to be increasing (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Algeria Vagrant Extant        
Austria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Belarus Vagrant Extant        
Belgium Native Extant       Yes
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Canada Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Egypt Vagrant Extant        
Estonia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant Yes      
Finland Native Extant     Yes Yes
France Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant Yes      
Hungary Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Iceland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ireland Native Extant   Yes    
Italy Vagrant Extant        
Latvia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Montenegro Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
Norway Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Poland Native Extant   Yes    
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Romania Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Vagrant Extant        
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Serbia Vagrant Extant        
Slovakia Vagrant Extant        
Slovenia Vagrant Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes      
Sweden Native Extant     Yes Yes
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Tunisia Vagrant Extant        
Turkey Vagrant Extant        
United Kingdom Native Extant   Yes Yes  
USA Vagrant Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Denmark Ballum og Husum Enge, Kamper strandenge site factsheet
Denmark Bøtø Nor site factsheet
Denmark Saltholm site factsheet
Denmark Tøndermarsken, Magisterkog and Rudbøl Sø site factsheet
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea) site factsheet
Estonia Haldi coast site factsheet
Estonia Irbe strait site factsheet
Estonia Kahtla-Kübassaare site factsheet
Estonia Karala-Pilguse site factsheet
Estonia Kõrgessaare-Mudaste coast site factsheet
Estonia Küdema bay site factsheet
Estonia Lõu bay site factsheet
Estonia Luitemaa site factsheet
Estonia Pärnu bay (NEW) site factsheet
Estonia Riksu coast site factsheet
Estonia Siiksaare-Oessaare bays site factsheet
Estonia Sutu bay site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
Estonia Vanamõisa bay site factsheet
Estonia Vilsandi archipelago site factsheet
Finland Kirkkonummi archipelago site factsheet
Germany Jadebusen, inland site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Enhjørningens Dal and Pingel Dal site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Heden site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Hochstetter Forland site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Kjoveland site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Ørsted Dal and Coloradodal site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Østersletten and Knudshoved, Hold With Hope site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) South coast of Germania Land, and Slaedelandet site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Stordal-Moskusoksefjord-Badlanddal-Loch Fyne-Myggbukta site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Western part of Germania land site factsheet
Iceland Hestgerdislón-Hornafjardarfljót site factsheet
Iceland Hóp-Vatnsdalur site factsheet
Iceland Svarfadardalur site factsheet
Ireland Ardboline Island and Horse Island site factsheet
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula site factsheet
Ireland Connemara Islands site factsheet
Ireland Drumcliff Bay and Ballintemple site factsheet
Ireland Duvillaun Islands site factsheet
Ireland Illaunonearaun site factsheet
Ireland Inishbofin and Inishshark (including Davillaun) site factsheet
Ireland Inishbofin, Inisdooey and Inisbeg site factsheet
Ireland Inishkea Islands site factsheet
Ireland Inishkeel site factsheet
Ireland Inishkeeragh and Illancrone site factsheet
Ireland Inishmurray site factsheet
Ireland Inishsirrer, Inishmeane, Gola and Owey Islands site factsheet
Ireland Malin Head site factsheet
Ireland Mid Clare Coast including Mutton and Mattle Islands site factsheet
Ireland Rathlin O'Birne site factsheet
Ireland Trawbreaga Bay site factsheet
Latvia Irbe strait site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Netherlands Biesbosch site factsheet
Netherlands De Deelen site factsheet
Netherlands Dollard site factsheet
Netherlands Frisian Wadden Sea coast site factsheet
Netherlands Grevelingen site factsheet
Netherlands Groningen Wadden Sea coast site factsheet
Netherlands Groote Wielen site factsheet
Netherlands Haringvliet site factsheet
Netherlands Hollands Diep site factsheet
Netherlands Kwade Hoek site factsheet
Netherlands Lake Fluessen, Vogelhoek and Morra site factsheet
Netherlands Lake Sneekermeer and Goingarijp site factsheet
Netherlands Lake Veersemeer site factsheet
Netherlands Lake Volkerak site factsheet
Netherlands Lake Witte and Zwarte Brekken site factsheet
Netherlands Lauwersmeer site factsheet
Netherlands Oosterschelde site factsheet
Netherlands Oostvaardersplassen site factsheet
Netherlands Oude Venen site factsheet
Netherlands Oudeland van Strijen site factsheet
Netherlands Schiermonnikoog site factsheet
Netherlands Terkaplesterpoelen and Akmarijp site factsheet
Netherlands Van Oordt's Mersken site factsheet
Netherlands Wadden Sea site factsheet
Norway Andøya (including Skogvoll) site factsheet
Norway Langøya site factsheet
Norway Nordre Øyeren & Sørumsneset site factsheet
Norway Øksnes site factsheet
Norway Selvær site factsheet
Norway Tenna & Herøy site factsheet
Norway Vega archipelago site factsheet
Russia (European) Berezoviye islands of Vyborg Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Kanin peninsula (watershed of Yazhma and Nyes' rivers) site factsheet
Russia (European) Kolguev island site factsheet
Russia (European) Kurgalski Peninsula site factsheet
Russia (European) Olonets plain site factsheet
Russia (European) Seskar island site factsheet
Russia (European) Torna-Shoina watershed site factsheet
Russia (European) Unskaya bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Vaygach island site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Adventdalen & Adventfjorden site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island) site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Inner parts of Kongsfjorden site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Midterhuken & Eholmen site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Nordenskiöldkysten site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Nordre Isfjorden site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Sassen-Bünsow Land site factsheet
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) South Spitsbergen National Park site factsheet
Sweden Älgö lera - Galtö lera site factsheet
Sweden Coastal areas of eastern Gotland island site factsheet
Sweden Coastal areas of eastern Öland island site factsheet
Sweden Lake Vendelsjön site factsheet
Sweden Ottenby site factsheet
Sweden Stornäset - Hörningsholm site factsheet
Sweden Strandstuguviken site factsheet
United Kingdom Bridgend Flats, Islay site factsheet
United Kingdom Coll site factsheet
United Kingdom Colonsay and Oronsay site factsheet
United Kingdom Eilean Hoan site factsheet
United Kingdom Eilean na Muice Duibh, Islay site factsheet
United Kingdom Eilean nan Ron site factsheet
United Kingdom Eoligarry, Barra site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth site factsheet
United Kingdom Gruinart Flats site factsheet
United Kingdom Laggan Peninsula site factsheet
United Kingdom Lindisfarne site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch of Strathbeg site factsheet
United Kingdom Monach Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom North Colonsay and Western Cliffs site factsheet
United Kingdom North Sutherland Coastal Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom North Uist Machair and Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Rinns of Islay site factsheet
United Kingdom Shiant Isles site factsheet
United Kingdom South Walls and Switha site factsheet
United Kingdom Tiree and Coll site factsheet
United Kingdom Uists Machairs, Lochs and Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Grassland Tundra major breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools major breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Food (human) Whole Eggs Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Other household goods Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Historical
Other household goods Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Historical

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Branta leucopsis. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans)
Species name author (Bechstein, 1803)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 82,800 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment