Barnacle goose

LIVING HABITS

The barnacle goose is an arctic species deriving from the northern islands in Russia, the Spitsbergen, and Greenland. It has been found breeding around the Baltic Sea regions since the 1970’s and in Finland since the 1980’s. Nowadays the barnacle goose breeds mainly on our southern coastlines, but has been found nesting all the way up to the inland areas of Oulu.

Barnacle geese frequently build their nest high on arctic mountain cliffs and rocky sea areas in their original habitat. They often build their nests close to sea bird colonies. Nowadays they may also nest in parks and city areas. Barnacle geese feed on grass, leaves and grains and corn. They feed in large flocks on farmlands and grazing lands.

PROTECTION

Hunting done around the barnacle geese breeding and wintering areas and migrating routes was about to bring the species population into extinction worldwide in the 1900’s. In the 1960’s the barnacle goose became a protected species in many countries. Nowadays the barnacle goose is on the critically endangered species list in Europe, and a protected species in nature conservation areas in Finland.

ADAPTING TO THE WINTER

The barnacle goose in Siberia and the Baltic Sea regions migrate to the Netherlands, the individuals in Greenland and the Spitsbergen to the British islands.

Barnacle goose

Branta leucopsis

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SIZE: Weight: 1,5-2kg, wingspan: 130-140cm.

BREEDING: Female lays 4-5 eggs, incubation period: 24-25 days and nights. Independent its first winter, sexual maturity reached in 3 years.

LIFESPAN: According to ringing data, the oldest barnacle goose has lived to 24 years of age.

Did you know that the barnacle goose population found in the Baltic Sea regions derives from zoo collections? When escapees from the zoos nested in the region, they attracted their wild relatives on the migrating routes to come and stay around the Baltic Sea regions.