The following information
has been taken from a Scottish Natural Heritage Leaflet
The Greenland White-Fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostis is
one of five recognised sub species of the circumpolar white fronted-goose
(commonly known as "white-front"). It breeds in west
Greenland and winters exclusively in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
The world population declined in the late 1970's to approximately 15,000
birds. Following conservation measures in the wintering range and
several successful breeding seasons, the world population size just under
30,000 birds by 1998.
Greenland white-fronted geese are fully protected by law in
Scotland. It is illegal for this species to be killed without a
As Great Britain and Ireland support the entire world population in
winter, it is vital that the geese are regularly monitored to ensure that
a healthy population remains.
Although the bulk of the population winters on Islay off the west coast of
Scotland, a small number roost within Caithness, particularly at
Broubster Leans and the Loch of Mey. Other Caithness
roost sites include Loch Calder, Loch Heilan and Loch Lieurary.
Caithness is also used by roosting greylag geese and pink-footed geese
which are quarry species. Wildfowling should be carried out in a
sensible manner and in accordance with the established British Association
for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
C) code of practice as
Greenland white-fronted geese are susceptible to disturbance. Lead
shot is poisonous to wildfowl, but alternatives are now available which
are less damaging to the environment.
Greenland white-fronted geese have:
pink-footed geese both in call and structure, but have a much paler
head and bill.
a much slimmer and
slighter build than greylag geese, appearing longer winged, with a
more rounded head, and are generally slightly smaller.
different calls from that of greylag geese. Greenland
white-fronts have a high pitched ringing gaggle "kyo-kyok"
(very similar to pink-footed goose), whilst greylags have a rather
lower pitched "krang-ung-ung"similar to a farmyard goose.
|There are problems in
distinguishing between the species as they fly in and out of the roost.
The silhouette and call of the pink-footed goose
and Greenland white-fronted goose are very similar. If you are in
any doubt about your quarry do not shoot.
Scottish Natural Heritage
Main Street, Golspie, Sutherland, KW10 6TG
Telephone 01408 633602
Additional useful contacts for goose advice:
Highland Council Ranger
Council Ranger Service Caithness Web Page
Dunnet Bay, Castletown,
Telephone 01847 821531
Bruce Building, Sinclair Terrace, Wick,
Wick Library/North Highland Archive
Telephone 01955 607758
The Royal Society for the Protection of
Map - Golspie Branch
Alba, Main Street, Golspie, Sutherland, KW10 6TG
Telephone 01408 634404
British Association for Shooting and
Map - Trochry, Dunkeld
Scottish Centre, Trochry, by Dunkeld, Tayside PH8 ODY
BASC Web Site
Scottish Natural Heritage is a government agency which works to conserve
and enhance wildlife, habits and landscapes. It aims to help people
enjoy the natural heritage responsibility, understand it more fully and
use it wisely so that it can be sustained for the future.
Natural Heritage Main Web Site