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Brent Goose Branta bernicla
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) 360,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown Not Applicable -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.9 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number > c.560,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at <c.1,000 wintering individuals in Korea and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Japan (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are stable, have unknown trends or are increasing (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Algeria Vagrant Extant        
Austria Vagrant Extant        
Barbados Vagrant Extant        
Belarus Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Belgium Native Extant   Yes    
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant        
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Canada Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Croatia Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Native Extant        
Denmark Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Egypt Vagrant Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant        
Finland Native Extant     Yes  
France Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Germany Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Greece Vagrant Extant        
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant Yes      
Hungary Native Extant        
Iceland Native Extant     Yes  
Ireland Native Extant   Yes    
Italy Native Extant        
Japan Native Extant        
Kazakhstan Vagrant Extant        
Latvia Native Extant        
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Morocco Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant   Yes    
North Korea Native Extant        
Norway Native Extant        
Poland Native Extant   Yes    
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Romania Native Extant   Yes    
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Senegal Vagrant Extant        
Slovakia Vagrant Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant   Yes    
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Native Extant Yes      
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tunisia Vagrant Extant        
Turkey Vagrant Extant        
United Kingdom Native Extant   Yes    
USA Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Canada Akimiski Island site factsheet
Canada Akimiski Strait site factsheet
Canada Amherst Island site factsheet
Canada Babbage and Spring River Deltas site factsheet
Canada Baie de Gaspé site factsheet
Canada Baie des Escoumins et Grandes-Bergeronnes site factsheet
Canada Baynes Sound site factsheet
Canada Boundary Bay - Roberts Bank - Sturgeon Bank (Fraser River Estuary) site factsheet
Canada Brier Island and Offshore Waters site factsheet
Canada Cape Henrietta Maria site factsheet
Canada Cleland Island and Southeast Clayoquot Sound site factsheet
Canada East Point site factsheet
Canada Eastern Cape Sable Island site factsheet
Canada Eastern Prince Patrick Island Coast site factsheet
Canada Foxe Basin Islands site factsheet
Canada Grand Manan Archipelago site factsheet
Canada Hannah Bay site factsheet
Canada Little Qualicum Estuary to Nanoose Bay site factsheet
Canada Mackenzie River Delta site factsheet
Canada McIntyre Beach and Rose Spit site factsheet
Canada Netitishi Point site factsheet
Canada North Point site factsheet
Canada Northeast James Bay site factsheet
Canada Northeast James Bay Coast site factsheet
Canada Queen Maud Gulf site factsheet
Canada Thomsen River site factsheet
Denmark Agger Tange and Krik Vig site factsheet
Denmark Ballum og Husum Enge, Kamper strandenge site factsheet
Denmark Fanø site factsheet
Denmark Harboøre Tange, Plet Enge & Gjeller Sø site factsheet
Denmark Mandø site factsheet
Denmark Parts of Randers and Mariager Fjords site factsheet
Denmark Rømø site factsheet
Denmark Sydfynske Ø-hav site factsheet
Denmark Tøndermarsken, Magisterkog and Rudbøl Sø site factsheet
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea) site factsheet
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré site factsheet
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton site factsheet
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc site factsheet
France Baie de Vilaine site factsheet
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin site factsheet
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes site factsheet
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin site factsheet
France Cap Gris-nez site factsheet
France Golfe du Morbihan et Etier de Penerf site factsheet
France Havre de la Sienne site factsheet
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant site factsheet
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon site factsheet
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise site factsheet
Greenland (to Denmark) Kilen site factsheet
Iceland Álftafjördur-Hofsstadavogur site factsheet
Iceland Álftanes-Akrar site factsheet
Iceland Breidafjördur site factsheet
Iceland Hvalfjardareyri-Laxárvogur site factsheet
Iceland Innstavogsnes-Grunnafjördur site factsheet
Iceland Skerjafjördur site factsheet
Ireland Baldoyle Bay site factsheet
Ireland Bannow Bay site factsheet
Ireland Boyne estuary site factsheet
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula site factsheet
Ireland Carlingford Lough site factsheet
Ireland Castlemaine Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Cummeen Strand (Sligo Harbour) site factsheet
Ireland Dublin Bay site factsheet
Ireland Dundalk Bay site factsheet
Ireland Dungarvan Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Inner Galway Bay site factsheet
Ireland Killala Bay site factsheet
Ireland Lough Foyle site factsheet
Ireland Malahide/ Broadmeadow Estuary site factsheet
Ireland North Wicklow coastal marshes site factsheet
Ireland Rogerstown estuary site factsheet
Ireland Shannon and Fergus Estuaries site factsheet
Ireland Skerries Islands site factsheet
Ireland The Cull and Killag site factsheet
Ireland Tralee Bay and Barrow Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Tramore Backstrand site factsheet
Ireland Trawbreaga Bay site factsheet
Ireland Wexford Harbour and Slobs site factsheet
Japan Hakodate bay, Kameda south coast site factsheet
Japan Lake Furen, On-netou site factsheet
Japan Mutsu bay site factsheet
Japan Northern Shimokita coast site factsheet
Japan Notsuke, Odaitou site factsheet
Japan South Sanriku coast site factsheet
Mexico Area San Quintín site factsheet
Netherlands Ameland: Duinen-Oerd site factsheet
Netherlands Frisian Wadden Sea coast site factsheet
Netherlands Grevelingen site factsheet
Netherlands Groningen Wadden Sea coast site factsheet
Netherlands Oosterschelde site factsheet
Netherlands Terschelling: De Boschplaat site factsheet
Netherlands Texel: Schorren and Zeeburg site factsheet
Netherlands Wadden Sea site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Chaun delta site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Forty islands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Izvestiy Tsik islands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Karaga bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kavacha lagoon site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Khadyn lake site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kytalyk site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Lower Anadyr lowlands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Lower Nizhnyaya Taymyra river site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Malamvayam lagoon site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Meechkyn spit and adjacent plain site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Muna-Besyuke site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Sayan reservoir (Tuva part) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Wrangel island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Yana delta site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Zhupanovskiy lagoon site factsheet
Russia (European) Berezoviye islands of Vyborg Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Delta of River Severnaya Dvina site factsheet
Russia (European) Torna-Shoina watershed site factsheet
Russia (European) Unskaya bay 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) Northwest Spitsbergen National Park site factsheet
Sweden Falsterbo-Bay of Foteviken site factsheet
Sweden Ottenby site factsheet
United Kingdom Carlingford Lough site factsheet
United Kingdom Chichester and Langstone Harbours site factsheet
United Kingdom Dundrum Inner Bay site factsheet
United Kingdom Killough Bay site factsheet
United Kingdom Larne Lough site factsheet
United Kingdom Lindisfarne site factsheet
United Kingdom Lough Foyle and River Foyle site factsheet
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Outer Ards site factsheet
United Kingdom Portsmouth Harbour site factsheet
United Kingdom Solent Marshes and Southampton Water site factsheet
United Kingdom Strangford Lough and islands site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
USA Barrier Island/Lagoon System site factsheet
USA Cape Island and Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area site factsheet
USA Humboldt Bay site factsheet
USA Izembek-Moffet-Kinzarof Lagoons site factsheet
USA Kasegaluk Lagoon site factsheet
USA Teshekpuk Lake-E. Dease Inlet 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 Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) Suitable non-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
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Subsistence, National
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Branta bernicla. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 360,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment