Canada Goose Branta canadensis


Taxonomic note

Branta canadensis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously split as B. canadensis and B. hutchinsii following AOU (2004), and before then lumped as B. canadensis following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2006 Least Concern
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
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) 23,300,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 12,800,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size unknown poor estimated 2012
Population trend increasing - suspected -
Generation length 10.5 years - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated at c. 5,000,000-6,200,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 1,000-5,000 pairs, which equates to 2,000-10,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations may be stable and some are decreasing (Wetlands International 2015). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (1500% increase over 40 years, equating to a 101% increase per decade; data for Branta canadensis and B. hutchinsii combined, from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). The European population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Australia extant vagrant
Austria extant introduced
Bahamas extant native
Belarus extant vagrant yes
Belgium extant introduced yes
Bermuda (to UK) extant vagrant
Bulgaria extant vagrant
Canada extant native yes yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant native
Cuba extant native
Czechia extant introduced
Denmark extant introduced yes yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant introduced yes
Finland extant introduced yes
France extant introduced yes
Germany extant introduced yes
Greenland (to Denmark) extant native yes
Haiti extant native
Iceland extant vagrant
Jamaica extant vagrant
Japan extant vagrant
Kiribati extant vagrant
Latvia extant vagrant yes
Liechtenstein extant vagrant
Lithuania extant vagrant yes
Luxembourg extant vagrant yes
Marshall Islands extant vagrant
Mexico extant native
Netherlands extant introduced yes
New Zealand extant introduced yes
North Korea extant vagrant
Norway extant introduced yes
Poland extant introduced yes
Portugal extant vagrant
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant native
Russia extant introduced
Russia (Asian) extant vagrant
Russia (Central Asian) extant vagrant
Russia (European) extant introduced
Slovakia extant vagrant
Slovenia extant vagrant
South Korea extant vagrant
Spain extant vagrant
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes yes
Sweden extant introduced yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native
Ukraine extant introduced
United Kingdom extant introduced yes
USA extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
USA Lac Qui Parle - Big Stone IBA
Canada Eastern Lake St. Clair
Canada Galloway and Miry Bay
Canada Grant's Lake WMA
Canada North, West, and East Shoal Lakes
Canada Northeast James Bay
Canada Oak Hammock Marsh WMA
Canada Plaine inondable de Saint-Barthélemy

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Excavations (open) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Excavations (open) suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Tundra major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 2000 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 - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Branta canadensis. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.