13. December 2009


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 Greenland White-fronted Goose has been on conservation concern for many years.  Declines from the 1950s to the late 1970s resulted in debate about its effective protection and the creation of the Greenland White-fronted Goose Study in 1978 and the initiation of studies on the breeding grounds in Greenland.  The process also forged an excellent collaboration between a wide range of enthusiasts, non-government organisations and government departments which continues to the present day.  The law was changed to protect the population from hunting in Ireland and Scotland from 1983 onwards, and a network of observers was established in 1982 to undertake regular winter counts at all the known haunts to monitor the changes in abundance of the entire population.  A programme of research was also initiated which included regular capture and marking of individuals at Wexford Slobs by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Ireland.