Pink-footed Goose

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Pink-footed Goose
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Tribe: Anserini
Genus: Anser
Species: A. brachyrhynchus
Binomial name
Anser brachyrhynchus
Baillon, 1834

The Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) is a goose which breeds in eastern Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. It is migratory. It winters in northwest Europe, especially Great Britain, the Netherlands, and western Denmark.

It is a medium-sized goose, 60–75 cm (24–30 in) long. The wingspan is 135–170  (53–67 in) cm. It weighs 1.8–3.4 kg (4–7.5 lbs). It has a short bill, bright pink in the middle with a black base and tip, and pink feet. The body is grey-brown, the head and neck a richer, darker brown, the rump white, and the tail grey with a broad white tip.

Part of a feeding flock in winter

Ecology[change | change source]

Nesting is often on cliffs close to glaciers. This gives protection from mammalian predators (mainly Arctic Fox). Three to six eggs are laid in early to mid May in Iceland, late May in Svalbard. Incubation lasts 26–27 days. On hatching, the goslings go with the parents on foot to the nearest lake. They fledge after about 56 days. Southbound migration is from mid September to early October, and northbound from mid April to early May.[2]

The diet is almost entirely vegetarian. In summer, they feed on a wide range of tundra plants, both on land and in water. In winter, they graze mostly on oilseed rape, sugar beet, potato, and various grasses. Damage to crops can be large.

References[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2004). Anser brachyrhynchus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  2. Cramp, S. (1977). The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Oxford ISBN 0-19-857358-8.