The numbers of wild geese in Great Britain

Hugh Boyd


About 125,000 wild geese have been counted in Scotland, England and Wales in 1960-62. The Pink-footed Goose is much the most numerous (about 53,000), followed by the Greylag (34,000), Dark-bellied Brent (14,400), Barnacle (12,400), European Whitefront (6,700) and Bean Goose (150-350). There are probably 3-4000 Greenland Whitefronts. There are also about 4000 feral Canada Geese and 2000 feral Greylags, so that in autumn about 135,000 free-flying geese can be seen. The Barnacles breeding in Spitsbergen and wintering on the Solway Firth have increased markedly since 1953. Greylags and Brent have also increased recently. The numbers of the others have changed little, despite marked local fluctuations.

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