Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Dutch:
Common Names in English:
Barnacle Goose, bar goose
Common Names in French:
Common Names in German:
Nonnengans, Weißwangengans, Weißwangengans (Nonnengans)
Common Names in Italian:
Common Names in Japanese:
Common Names in Russian:
Beloschokaya Kazarka, Белощекая казарка, Казарка белощекая
Common Names in Spanish:
Common Names in Swedish:
Adult : Face : Chin: white Eyebrow Line : white Forehead: white Lores : black Facial Skin : blackish Bill: blackish Neck: black Body: Back: bluish gray with narrow black and white bars Belly: scalloped pale gray Breast: black Sides: scalloped pale gray Underparts: white Legs : Femorals: scalloped pale gray Leg Color: blackish Tail: black.
Typically found in a lake at a mean distance from sea level of 343.16 meters (1,125.85 feet).
Behaviour This species is fully migratory and travels on a narrow
front2 between extremely localised
areas1. It is present on its breeding
from May or June to August or September2
where it breeds
in small but often closely packed colonies1,
3 of 5-50 pairs, occasionally singly or in groups of up
to 150 pairs6. It uses the same nesting sites year
after year4 and sometimes nests
among seabird colonies3.
After the young hatch
undergo a flightless moult period
near the breeding grounds
between mid-July and mid-August that lasts
for 3-4 weeks5. The species migrates to autumn
areas in September2 from which it travels
via regular stop-over sites3 to the wintering grounds,
arriving in late-September2. The return migration
begins in April or May, the species moving to spring
where it may be present for 20-30 days before migrating
The species is highly gregarious
outside of the breeding season
often feeding in dense concentrations on coastal grasslands during
the winter3. In winter habitats
it roosts on water3
or on sandbanks near saltmarshes and pastureland10.
Habitat Breeding The species breeds in Arctic
(fjellmark)2 on crags, rocky outcrops1,
, rocky slopes4 and coastal islands (Svalbard)2
near wetlands such as lakes
, marshes, the upper parts of
, coastlines4, wet meadows and mudflats2.
In years when the snow is slow to melt the species first forages
on grassy vegetation on south-facing mountain slopes
the droppings of cliff-nesting seabirds before moving down
areas2. It also returns to these slopes after the
moulting period before autumn migration2. After
the young hatch families may disperse away from rocky ground to more
vegetated areas surrounding tundra lakes and rivers2.
Non-breeding During the non-breeding season
the species frequents
, saltmarshes2, 4 and adjacent
meadows1, 4 (especially improvedrough pasturesand
arable land1, 2), with agricultural fields
increasingly more important as winter feeding areas5.
The species is herbivorous1 its diet
consisting of the leaves, stems and seed-heads of grasses, sedges,
plants1, 2, mosses2,
various herbs (especially white clover Trifolium repens in
the winter)8, 10 and shrubs
Salix arctica)4. It may also take agricultural
grain and vegetables during the winter1. Breeding
site The nest is a shallow depression
in a low mound of vegetation6
positioned on rocky ground1, 2, rocky outcrops4,
6, among rocky crags, on steep cliffs3, 4, 6,
on the tops of low hills4, or on low vegetation
hummocks and snow-free patches on islands in river channels6.
Nesting sites accumulate nesting materials
as they are often used
year after year4, and the species may sometimes
nest among seabird colonies3. Management
An investigation carried out in one of the species's wintering
areas (UK) found that it was most likely to forage on improved grasslands
with high abundances
of the grass
Lolium perenne and white
clover Trifolium repens8 (the growth of
which is greatly influenced by the amount of summer grazing, which
the grass height)10. Preferred fields
were between 4 and 10 ha in area (the species avoided fields of less
than 2-3 ha), and at an optimal distance
of less than 5 km
roosting sites (maximum 7 km away)8. The species
was also found to show a preference for grasslands with swards less
than 10 cm in height
(optimum 2 cm) in fields that had been cut
and then grazed (although there was no major difference in
on pastures grazed with different livestock)8.
Overall winter use of grassland fertilised with large amounts of
nitrogen was significantly greater than the use of unfertilised grassland
by the species8. The Barnacle Goose Management
Scheme (BGMS) in Scotland, UK recommends fertilising farmland adjacent
to reserves containing wintering groups of this species at times
when geese are present (e.g. autumn or winter) and grazing stock
(sheep or cattle) are absent9. The BGMS also awards
payments to farmers who manage pastures outside of established
for reducing the level of disturbance
(e.g. scaring away feeding
flocks) on their land9.
List of Habitats:
- 4 Grassland
- 4.1 Grassland - Tundra
- 12 Marine Intertidal
- 12.1 Marine Intertidal - Rocky Shoreline
- 12.4 Marine Intertidal - Mud Flats and Salt Flats
- 12.5 Marine Intertidal - Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
- 12.6 Marine Intertidal - Tidepools
- 14 Artificial/Terrestrial
- 14.2 Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Linnaeus, 1758
- Gauthier, 1986
- (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Pycraft, 1900
- Sibley et al., 1988
- Wagler, 1831
- Suborder: Anseres () - (C. Linnaeus, 1758) Wagler, 1831
- Order: Anseriformes () - Wagler, 1831
- Superorder: Galloanserimorphae () - Sibley et al., 1988
- Cohort: Neognathae () - Pycraft, 1900
- Infraclass: Aves () - (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Subclass: Avialae () - Gauthier, 1986
- Class: Aves () - Linnaeus, 1758
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Branta leucopsis (Bechstein, 1803)
Members of the genus Branta
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 25 species and subspecies in this genus:
B. bernicla (Brant Goose) · B. bernicla bernicla (Brant (Dark-Bellied)) · B. bernicla hrota (Brant (Atlantic)) · B. bernicla nigricans (Brant (Black)) · B. canadensis (Canada Goose) · B. canadensis canadensis (Canada Goose (Canadensis/interior)) · B. canadensis fulva (Canada Goose) · B. canadensis hutchinsii (Canada Goose) · B. canadensis interior (Canada Goose) · B. canadensis leucopareia (Aleutian Canada Goose) · B. canadensis maxima (Canada Goose) · B. canadensis maxima or interior (Canada Goose) · B. canadensis minima (Cackling Canada Goose) · B. canadensis moffitti (Canada Goose (Moffitti/maxima)) · B. canadensis occidentalis (Canada Goose (Occidentalis/fulva)) · B. canadensis parvipes (Canada Goose (Parvipes)) · B. canadensis taverneri (Canada Goose) · B. hutchinsii (Cackling Goose) · B. hutchinsii hutchinsii (Cackling Goose (Richardson's)) · B. hutchinsii leucopareia (Aleutian Cackling Goose) · B. hutchinsii minima (Small Cackling Goose) · B. hutchinsii taverneri (Tavrner's Cackling Goose) · B. leucopsis (Barnacle Goose) · B. ruficollis (Red-Breasted Goose) · B. sandvicensis (Hawaiian Goose)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 12, 2007:
- Avian Knowledge Network, Great Backyard Bird Count
- Avian Knowledge Network, Project FeederWatch
- Avian Knowledge Network, eBird
- Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Bishop Museum Natural History Specimen Data
- Biologiezentrum der Oberoesterreichischen Landesmuseen, Biologiezentrum Linz
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Birds
- Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of Nature Bird Collection
- European Environment Agency, EUNIS
- GBIF-Sweden, Bird Ringing Centre in Sweden
- Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, Bay of Fundy Species List
- Institute of Nature Conservation PAS, National System of Proetcted Areas
- Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Terrestrial vertebrate specimens
- New Brunswick Museum, NBM birds
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Scottish Borders Biological Records Centre - SWT Scottish Borders Local Wildlife Site Survey data 1996-2000 - species information
- Upper Silesian Museum, Bytom, Upper Silesian Museum, Bird Observations
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 11645
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-175014
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 2490700
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 175014
- IUCN ID: 195935
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 132783
- Standard Deviation = 184.500 based on 313 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
- BirdLife International 2009. Branta leucopsis. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 January 2012. [back]