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Anser anser

(domestic goose)

Overview

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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Dutch:

Grauwe Gans

Common Names in English:

domestic goose, Graylag Goose, Greylag Goose, Eastern Greylag Goose

Common Names in French:

Oie cendrée

Common Names in German:

Graugans

Common Names in Hebrew:

אווז אפור

Common Names in Italian:

Oca selvatica

Common Names in Japanese:

ハイイロガン

Common Names in Russian:

Sery Gus, Гусь серый, Серый гусь

Common Names in Spanish:

Ánsar común

Common Names in Swedish:

Grågås

Description

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Habitat

Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 5,093 meters (0 to 16,709 feet).[1]

Ecology: Behaviour This species is fully migratory although some populations in temperate regions are only sedentary1 or locally dispersive5, occasionally making irregular movements in very icy winters1. The species breeds from May or April in loose colonies1, 2, after which flocks gather to undertake moult migrations to favoured areas (with good feeding opportunities and access to safe roosting sites)2 to undergo a flightless moulting period lasting c.1 month5. The species is highly gregarious2, 3 outside of the breeding season3, with large concentrations forming during the post-breeding moult and before the autumn migration (e.g. flocks of up to 25,000 individuals)5. The species feeds diurnally, especially during the morning and evening, although non-breeding birds may also feed at night2. It roosts at night and during the middle of the day on open water7, and may fly to feeding areas more than 10 km away from roosting sites2 (optimal distance 2-5 km away)10. Habitat Breeding During the breeding season the species inhabits wetlands surrounded by fringing vegetation in open grassland1, sedge or heather moorland4, arctic tundra , steppe or semi-desert from sea-level up to 2,300 m6. It nests near streams , saltmarshes2, river flood-plains, reedy marshes, grassy bogs , damp meadows, reed-lined freshwater lakes and estuaries4 close to potential feeding sites such as meadows, grasslands, stubble fields and newly sown cereal fields2. It requires isolated islands2 in lakes4 or on along the coast2 out of reach of land predators for nesting2. In the autumn (before migration) the species also frequents agricultural land (e.g. sugar-beet, maize and cereal fields)2. Non-breeding In the winter the species inhabits lowland farmland in open country1, 3, swamps1, lakes1, 3, reservoirs3, coastal lagoons1 and estuaries3. Diet The species is herbivorous, its diet consisting of grass1, the roots , shoots , leaves, stems, seedheads and fruits of other herbaceous marsh vegetation1, 4, aquatic plants4, and agricultural grain and potatoes (especially in the winter)1. Breeding site The nest is a shallow construction of plant matter1, 6 placed among reedbeds, on the ground1, in or at the base of trees , under bushes or in sheltered hollows on isolated wooded islands on lakes or along coasts2, 4, as well as on rafts of vegetation in rivers6. Although the species is only semi-colonial, nests may be concentrated within a small area (e.g. placed 11 m apart on small islands)4. Management information On the Vejlerne nature reserve, Denmark, it was found that reedbeds left unharvested for 5-13 years supported the highest nesting densities of this species12. Low nesting densities were found in reedbeds in the first four years after reed cutting, and no nests were found in reedbeds cut in the year of study (shoot density may have been too low to provide adequate cover ) or in reedbeds left uncut for sixteen years (reed stems may have been too dense)12[2].

List of Habitats :

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Taxonomy

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Synonyms

Anser anser (Linnaeus, 1758)

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Anser

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 27 species and subspecies in this genus:

A. albifrons (Greater White-Fronted Goose) · A. albifrons albifrons (Greater White-Fronted Goose (Eurasian)) · A. albifrons elgasi (Greater White-Fronted Goose (Tule)) · A. albifrons flavirostris (Greater White-Fronted Goose (Greenland)) · A. albifrons frontalis (Greater White-Fronted Goose) · A. albifrons gambelli (Greater White-Fronted Goose (Western)) · A. anser (Domestic Goose) · A. anser anser (Graylag Goose (European)) · A. anser rubrirostris (Graylag Goose (Siberian)) · A. brachyrhynchus (Pink-Footed Goose) · A. brachyrhynchus brachyrhynchus (Pink-Footed Goose) · A. caerulescens (Blue Goose) · A. caerulescens caerulescens (Snow Goose) · A. canagica (Emperor Goose) · A. cygnoides (Swan Goose) · A. erythropus (Lesser White-Fronted Goose) · A. fabalis (Taiga Bean-Goose) · A. fabalis brachyrhynchus (Bean Goose) · A. fabalis fabalis (Taiga Bean Goose) · A. fabalis rossicus (Tundra Bean Goose) · A. fabalis serrirostris (Bean Goose) · A. fabalis sibiricus (Bean Goose) · A. indicus (Bar-Headed Goose) · A. rossi (Ross' Goose) · A. rossii (Ross's Snow Goose) · A. serrirostris (Tundra Bean-Goose) · A. serrirostris rossicus (Tundra Bean Goose)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Notes

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Contributors

Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 26, 2007:

Identifiers

Footnotes

  1. Mean = 709.210 meters (2,326.804 feet), Standard Deviation = 928.490 based on 83,552 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
  2. BirdLife International 2009. Anser anser. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 January 2012. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-07-24