Snow Goose Anser caerulescens


Taxonomic note
Anser caerulescens (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Chen.

Taxonomic source(s)
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
2021 Least Concern
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
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) 8,480,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 15,600,000 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Number of mature individuals 16000000 poor estimated 2020
Population trend increasing inferred -
Generation length (years) 8.5 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number 15,000,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2020). The European population is estimated at 1,000-2,000 pairs, which equates to 2,000-4,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing (Partners in Flight 2020; Wetlands International 2020). In North America the rate of increase is accelerating in recent years, amounting to 200% over the past three generations (Meehan et al. 2018). The Alaskan populations are estimated to be increasing (Amundson et al. 2019). In Europe the population size is also estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015). Despite being hunted to regulate the population trend, the increase is continuing (Mowbray et al. 2020).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Bahamas extant vagrant
Barbados extant vagrant
Belgium extant vagrant
Belize extant vagrant
Bermuda (to UK) extant vagrant
Bulgaria extant vagrant
Canada extant native yes yes yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
China (mainland) extant vagrant
Cuba extant vagrant
Czechia extant vagrant
Denmark extant vagrant
Estonia extant vagrant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant vagrant
Finland extant vagrant
France extant vagrant
Germany extant vagrant
Greenland (to Denmark) extant native yes
Honduras extant vagrant
Iceland extant vagrant
India extant vagrant
Ireland extant vagrant
Italy extant vagrant
Japan extant vagrant
Kazakhstan extant vagrant
Latvia extant vagrant
Lithuania extant vagrant
Marshall Islands extant vagrant
Mexico extant native yes
Netherlands extant vagrant
North Korea extant vagrant
Norway extant introduced yes
Poland extant vagrant
Portugal extant vagrant
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant vagrant
Romania extant vagrant
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant vagrant
Russia (European) extant vagrant
South Korea extant vagrant
Spain extant vagrant
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant vagrant
Trinidad and Tobago extant vagrant
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
United Kingdom extant introduced yes
USA extant native yes yes yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant vagrant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Russia (Asian) Cape Billings
Russia (Asian) Wrangel and Herald Islands
Canada Hay and Zama Lakes
Canada Delta Marsh
Canada Oak Hammock Marsh WMA
Canada Whitewater Lake
Canada North, West, and East Shoal Lakes
Canada Mackenzie River Delta
Canada Banks Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Canada Queen Maud Gulf
Canada Southwest Bylot
Canada McConnell River
Canada Boas River and associated wetlands
Canada Akimiski Island
Canada Great Plain of the Koukdjuak
Canada Hannah Bay
Canada Ekwan to Lakitusaki Shores
Canada Cape Henrietta Maria
Canada Moose River Estuary
Canada Marais de la baie de L'Isle-Verte
Canada Battures de Beauport and chenal de l'île d'Orléans
Canada Nicolet et Baie-du-Fèbvre
Canada Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area
Canada Nunaluk Spit to Herschel Island
USA Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
USA Coastal Prairie
USA Delaware Bayshore Region
USA Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
Mexico Complejo de Humedales del Noroeste de Chihuahua

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land major non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Tundra major breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable non-breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Inland Deltas suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 2500 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
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Anser caerulescens. Downloaded from on 29/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/09/2023.