Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Red-breasted Goose

Branta ruficollis

Sometimes thought of as the one of the most attractive species of geese, the red-breasted goose is an unmistakable red, black and white goose, often found in Arctic Russia and small portions of Europe. With many threats and diminishing habitats, the red-breasted goose also is the most threatened goose species on the IUCN Red List.

Range & Habitat

The red-breasted goose can be found in many habitats, including Grasslands, Wetlands, Marine Coastal/Supratidal and Artificial/Terrestrial.

They breed in Arctic Russia (European, Central Asian and Eastern Asian Russia), and spend the winters in only a few sites along the Black Sea (Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.)

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

This migratory bird's population has been declining dramatically, and there are believed to be only 40,000 remaining in the wild. They face many threats including oil/gas drilling, climate change, hunting/trapping, human intrusions/disturbance and animal predators. There are many conservation acts in place, such as research and monitoring, land/water protection, species management and education and awareness programs.

Diet

In the Wild: small fish, crabs, aquatic plants, grasses and grain.

At the Zoo: waterfowl grain mix, greens, insects.

Life Span

In the Wild: about 15 years
In Human Care: 25 years

Fun Facts about the Red-breasted Goose

  •  In the wild, red-breasted geese migrate almost 3,700 miles (6,000 km) to their winter habitats along the Black Sea.
  •  These geese tend to stick together, but can be territorial toward other birds. When threatened, they will raise their feathers while standing tall and hiss and squawk at other birds.
  •  Their call is a jerky “kik-yoik, kik-yik” sound.
  •  Conservation modelling suggests that 67% of the habitat for this species could be lost by the year 2070.

 

Sources

BirdLife International. 2017. Branta ruficollis (amended version of 2017 assessment). The IUCN

Red List of Threatened Species 2017:

e.T22679954A118577901. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-    

3.RLTS.T22679954A118577901.enDownloaded on 05 February 2021.

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds: Red-breasted Goose worksheet. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320016304_Red-breasted_Goose

Updated February 27, 2021
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