The Greenland White-fronted Goose Study (GWGS) is an independent organisation dedicated to the study and conservation of the Greenland race of the circumpolar White-fronted Goose. GWGS was originally established by a bunch of undergraduate students studying at Aberystwyth University in the mid-1970s. Its general mission is pretty all encompassing, however, given that the organisation has no employees and is wholly based on volunteer efforts, it is no surprise that efforts need to be highly focused.
Annual census on wintering areas
We ring geese in Ireland, Iceland and Greenland
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If you have seen a collared Greenland Whitefronted Goose, most likely at one their wintering grounds in the UK and Ireland then please let us know date and location as well as the collar ID of course. You can use the comment form at the end of this post.
The Greenland White-fronted Goose
Anser albifrons flavirostris
Latest field trip: Greenland 2010
Latest update: Archive video of the first 1979 expedition added, Spring 2010 report, small sites report
The Greenland White-fronted Goose, Anser albifrons flavirostris, breeds in west Greenland, and migrates via Iceland to winter in Ireland and Britain. It is the most distinctive race of the circumpolar White-fronted Goose that nests throughout most of northern Russia, Arctic Canada and Alaska. […]
The first description of the numbers and distribution of wintering flocks of Greenland White-fronted Geese in Ireland and Britain was compiled by Major Robin Ruttledge and Malcolm Ogilvie and published in the 1979 volume of Irish Birds. For most Irish flocks, often wintering in remote bogland habitats, there were no regular counts to give a clear and accurate picture of the status of the population. Many of the flocks they described for the first time are incredibly difficult to access, let alone count simultaneously, making it difficult to compile counts at flock or national level. […]
Broubster Leans SSSI has just become the lastet reserve to be acquired by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, adding another layer of site sfaeguard to this important wetland and the most regularly used roost site for the Westfield flock of Caithness wintering Greenland White-fronted Geese.
The press release reads: […]
1. The Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris is the most distinct sub-species of the circumpolar White fronted Goose Anser albifrons. It breeds in west Greenland and migrates through Iceland to winter exclusively in Britain and Ireland, where it remains one of the rarest of wintering goose populations.
2. The population declined from 17,500-23,000 in the 1950s to 14,300-16,600 in the late 1970s and as a result of conservation concerns at the time, the population was protected from hunting and many of the sites supporting internationally important concentrations were given statutory protection. […]