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Lesser white-fronted goose: population trend


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Status of specific threatened species
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Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

The lesser white-fronted goose is considered to be one of the most seriously threatened species in Norway. It has been designated as a priority species under the Nature Diversity Act, which means that steps must be taken to protect the geese and their habitat.

Early in the 20th century, Norway had a breeding population of several thousand pairs of lesser white-fronted geese. Today, there are believed to be only 15–20 breeding pairs. The species is classified as critically endangered (CR) in the Norwegian Red List. It is also red-listed internationally. The number of pairs arriving at breeding grounds has been fairly stable over the past 10 years, but breeding success has varied widely.

Satellite tracking studies have documented that illegal hunting along the migration routes is an important cause of the population decline. In the past couple of years, breeding success in Norway has been higher, resulting in a small but important addition to the goose population. There may be several reasons for this, but it is possible that the effort that has been made to keep the red fox population to a minimum on the breeding grounds is giving results.

Efforts to save the lesser white-fronted goose are being based on an international and a Norwegian action plan for the lesser white-fronted goose.