Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely 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 is considered to be increasing, hence the species does not approach the threshold for listing as Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely 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.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number 4,500,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2020).

Trend justification
This species is considered to be increasing (Wetlands International 2020).

Distribution and population

The species has a large range, breeding across the tundra of Canada, Alaska (U.S.A.), and wintering in southern North America including Mexico. The species has also been reintroduced to the Kuril Islands, and wintering birds have returned to Japan (and these are assumed to be from this population) (del Hoyo et al. 2018).


Although hunting and other direct mortality takes a substantial toll, this species has increased its range and population since the 1940s (Mowbray et al. 2020).

Conservation actions

Reintroduced to the Aleutian Islands from captive-bred birds and translocating wild birds from Buldir Island eventually succeeding in establishing increasing populations on islands where Arctic Foxes had been eradicated (Mini et al. 2011).


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Pilgrim, J. & Westrip, J.R.S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Branta hutchinsii. Downloaded from on 27/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/06/2022.