Distribution Britain 718 (+258%) Ireland 23 (+188%)
Numbers breeding: Britain 14,300 Ireland 700 adults
European status: 55,000 (20% in Britain and Ireland =2)
British population trend: increasing at about 5% p.a. (+31% BBS)
How likely are you to record it? 183 squares (4.1%) Ranked 91= [101=]
These birds are real wild members of the British and Irish avifauna but the wild birds have long been confined to the Western Isles and northern Scotland. Here the birds are increasing and may number almost 1,000 pairs. Elsewhere re-introduced Greylag Geese and feral populations have established themselves in many areas particularly eastern England, Shropshire, the Lake District, Anglesey, South-west Scotland, the Lowlands and Strangford Loch and Co. Wexford. In Ireland they do not seem to be increasing much but they are expanding range and increasing rapidly in Britain probably 5% or more per year. There are many areas where this species is increasing much faster than the Canada Geese. Hybrid breeding with other species is quite frequently reported and there are areas where they cause problems with other species. Increase is set to carry on the return of the native after over 200 years!
Delany, S. 1993 British Birds: 86, 591-599.
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead