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 (km2) 23,300,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 12,800,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Increasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.5 - - -

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 Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Australia V Extant
Austria I Extant
Bahamas N Extant
Belarus V Extant Yes
Belgium I Extant Yes
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bulgaria V Extant
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) N Extant
Cuba N Extant
Czechia I Extant
Denmark I Extant Yes Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) I Extant Yes
Finland I Extant Yes
France I Extant Yes
Germany I Extant Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Haiti N Extant
Iceland V Extant
Jamaica V Extant
Japan V Extant
Kiribati V Extant
Latvia V Extant Yes
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania V Extant Yes
Luxembourg V Extant Yes
Marshall Islands V Extant
Mexico N Extant
Netherlands I Extant Yes
New Zealand I Extant Yes
North Korea V Extant
Norway I Extant Yes
Poland I Extant Yes
Portugal V Extant
Puerto Rico (to USA) N Extant
Russia I Extant
Russia (Asian) V Extant
Russia (Central Asian) V Extant
Russia (European) I Extant
Slovakia V Extant
Slovenia V Extant
South Korea V Extant
Spain V Extant
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes Yes
Sweden I Extant Yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) N Extant
Ukraine I Extant
United Kingdom I Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Canada Ewing and Erskine Lakes
Canada Whitford and Rush Lakes
Canada Cardinal Lake
Canada Hay and Zama Lakes
Canada Miquelon Lake
Canada Frank Lake (north)
Canada Bellshill Lake
Canada Shultz Lake
Canada Fraser Lake
Canada Tachick and Nulki Lakes
Canada Kaskattama River Mouth
Canada Netley-Libau Marsh
Canada Oak Hammock Marsh WMA
Canada Oak Lake/Plum Lakes Area
Canada Whitewater Lake
Canada Langruth - Rm of Lakeview
Canada North, West, and East Shoal Lakes
Canada Grant's Lake WMA
Canada Marshy Point
Canada Tracadie Bay and Sandspit
Canada Neguac Sandspit
Canada Codroy Valley Estuary
Canada Upper Cumberland Basin
Canada South Shore (Port Joli sector)
Canada Big Glace Bay Lake
Canada Musquodoboit
Canada Cobequid Bay
Canada Basque Islands and Michaud Point
Canada Kugaluk River
Canada Harrowby Bay
Canada Thomsen River
Canada Mills Lake
Canada North Arm, Great Slave Lake
Canada Coats Island/Cape Pembroke
Canada Queen Maud Gulf
Canada Twin Islands
Canada Northeast James Bay
Canada Akimiski Island
Canada Jenny Lind Island
Canada Middle Back River
Canada Thelon River
Canada Boatswain Bay
Canada Long Point Peninsula and Marshes
Canada Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Canada Eastern Lake St. Clair
Canada Matchedash Bay
Canada Wolfe Island
Canada Longridge Point and Associated Coastline
Canada Akimiski Strait
Canada Ekwan to Lakitusaki Shores
Canada Winisk River Estuary
Canada Shagamu River and Area
Canada Severn River Coastline
Canada Niskibi Cape
Canada Malpeque Bay
Canada Cascumpec Bay/Alberton Harbour
Canada Bedeque Bay
Canada PEI National Park
Canada Orwell Bay
Canada Barachois de Malbaie
Canada Marais de la baie de L'Isle-Verte
Canada Kamouraska
Canada Marais de Saint-Fulgence
Canada Saint-Vallier
Canada Battures de Beauport and chenal de l'île d'Orléans
Canada Nicolet et Baie-du-Fèbvre
Canada Plaine inondable de Saint-Barthélemy
Canada Réserve faunique de Plaisance
Canada Northeast James Bay Coast
Canada Marais de Saint-Timothée
Canada Marais de Saint-Étienne
Canada Canal de Beauharnois
Canada Galloway and Miry Bay
Canada South Saskatchewan River (Empress to Lancer Ferry)
Canada Mantario Hills
Canada Valeport Marsh
Canada Lake Lenore
Canada Rice Lake
Canada Manitou Lake Area (includes Reflex, Freshwater, Wells, Colette and Cipher Lakes)
Canada Cumberland Marshes
Austria Ibmer Moor
Austria Salzach valley
Germany Weser valley near Stolzenau and Landesbergen
Germany Ekelmoor (moorlands near Sittensen)
Poland Vistula Lagoon
USA Lac Qui Parle - Big Stone IBA
New Zealand Upper Buller
Sweden Lake Gammelstadsviken
Sweden Bay of Rynninge
Sweden Coastal area of Oskarshamn

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 (2023) Species factsheet: Branta canadensis. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023.