2007 IUCN Red List Category (as evaluated by BirdLife International - the official Red List Authority for birds for IUCN): Endangered

Justification This species has a moderate population size which appears to have declined rapidly over a short time period. The reasons for this decline are largely unknown. Small populations of other Arctic breeding geese have shown dramatic population fluctuations and this may prove to be the case for this species. However, the species is precautionarily listed as Endangered.

Family/Sub-family Anatidae

Species name author (Pallas, 1769)

Taxonomic source(s) AERC TAC (2003), Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994), Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

Identification 53-56 cm. Unmistakable red, black and white goose. Chestnut-red foreneck, breast and sides of head, bordered white. White flank-stripe and black belly. White rear belly and black tail. Juvenile generally duller than adult. Short neck and dark belly stand out in flight. Similar spp. Can be surprisingly difficult to detect amongst large flocks of other geese. Voice Repeated, jerky kik-yoik, kik-yik in flight.

Population estimate Population trend Range estimate (breeding/resident) Country endemic?
37,300 decreasing 564,000 km2 No

Range & population Branta ruficollis breeds on the Taimyr (70% of the population), Gydan and Yamal peninsulas, Russia. Prior to the 1950s, most birds wintered in Azerbaijan. However, 80-90% of birds now congregate in January/February at five roost sites on the Black Sea at Shabla (32 km2) and Durankulak (34 km2) in Bulgaria and Razelm-Sinoe lagoons (535 km2) and Techirghiol (41 km2) in Romania. Smaller numbers winter in Ukraine7 and in severe winters in Greece. There are five known staging areas in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Maximum population counts from wintering or staging areas were 60,000 between 1967-1970, 25,907 between 1976-1990, 75,879 between 1991-1995, 88,000 in 19961 and 60,444 between 1998-2001 (with a maximum of 88,425 in winter 2000)10. It is unclear whether these represent genuine population fluctuations. Coordinated censuses in January 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 resulted in totals of 33,600, 52,800, 32,100 and c. 34,000 respectively, with a mean population estimate of 37,30011. Russian data have not identified a negative trend over the past 10 years12.


Important Bird Areas Click here to view map showing IBAs where species is recorded, including sites where the species does not meet any IBA criteria.
Ecology It nests in tundra, where breeding success may depend on nesting Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus and Snowy Owl Nyctea scandiaca providing protection from predators8. Successful breeding seasons are also associated with good lemming years when predators are sated by the lemming population and predation of geese is much lower. Wintering geese feed on winter wheat, barley, maize, pasture grasses and, in Greece, natural grassland.


Threats Following land privatisation in winter feeding areas, reductions in the land area under winter wheat cultivation and the intensification of agriculture are potential threats, and some key feeding-sites have been lost in Bulgaria4. Pressure exists to allow shooting and scaring of geese in Bulgaria and Romania, and disturbance is caused by hunting3. Hunting by tourists in Ukraine poses an increasing threat2 and birds are shot at staging grounds in Russia. Climate change and associated habitat shifts are expected to impact negatively on this species and others dependent on tundra habitat for breeding. Modelling indicates that 67% of the habitat for this species could be lost by 20709. Other threats include industrial developments at breeding sites in Gydan and Yamal and the use of rodenticides in the wintering grounds.


Conservation measures underway CITES Appendix II. CMS Appendix I and II. It is legally protected in key states6. Parts of its breeding range and principal wintering roost sites are protected (some qualifying as Ramsar sites), but hunting occurs in feeding areas. A management plan is being implemented for roosting lakes in Bulgaria4. Wintering sites in Bulgaria and Romania are monitored and research and public awareness projects are ongoing4,5,6. A European action plan was published in 1996. Buffer zones of stubbles (essential for winter feeding) have been purchased around some key wintering sites in Romania and Bulgaria14

This information is quoted directly from wikipedia

I harvested this bird legally from the prairie in northern Idaho.  I am not sure exactly how this goose ended up in the US but it is not a captive bird it was totally wild.  I spoke with Idaho, Washington, and California fish and wildlife specialist, and also with US Fish and Wildlife to make sure it was ok to have this bird and everyone said it was fine it is not protected in the US. 
Taxidermy done by Mike Casper, Walla Walla WA  

Pat Tully


2331 Sunset DR

Lewiston, ID 83501


cell (208)717-7442


E-MAIL pattully@customgamebirdcalls.com