Bean Goose Anser fabalis

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In autumn, Sweden is of special importance for the Bean Goose and especially for the western Taiga Bean Goose Anser fabalis fabalis as the majority of the population stages in Sweden for a period especially in October, smaller numbers at that time of the year being found in areas south of the Baltic, i.e. northern Poland and the Baltic districts of eastern Germany. Especially October has been found to be an important month for counting Taiga Bean Geese in Sweden as the first major migration to the south from Sweden occurs first in late October/early November or later. Sweden also has the largest population of wintering Taiga Bean Geese. In the new action plan for the Taiga Bean Goose by AEWA, Sweden is the main area for the Taiga Bean Geese of the western and central management units.

Neck-banding of Bean Geese in Finland (breeding) and Sweden (staging) have shown that the Bean Geese in Sweden in October consists of two different cotigents at least. One group of birds apparently from more eastern breeding areas migrates into the country in the early autumn and stays for a period before leaving Sweden to the areas south of the Baltic with frosty weather in the autumn. The other part (around 30-40000 birds) stay in Sweden until winter, in mild winters they remain in the country, in hard winters they move on to avoid the snow to the southwest, nowadays mostly to Denmark, formerly to western Germany and the Netherlands. Spring migration includes smaller numbers, i.e. those remaining over the winter or wintering in Denmark.

In October, the majority of the Taiga Bean Geese are found in Sweden. From the start of the counts, numbers increased and reached a peak of close to 80000 Bean Geese in October 1989. Numbers then decreased and between 41000 and 52000 have been counted in October with one exception until about 2008-2009 when larger numbers of Bean Geese were once more counted in Sweden. In October 2015 - 2019 between 69000 and 80000 Bean Geese were counted.

During the years there have been marked changes in the distribution  of the Bean Geese especially in October. During the first years SW Scania was an important area, the numbers here decreased and peak counts were noted at Tåkern, later numbers at Tåkern decreased, Kvismaren being the most important site, whereas very few reach Scania in October.

At the same time as the number of Bean Geese increased again in Sweden, it became clear that a number of Tundra Bean Geese had started to use Sweden as a stagin area, with an estimated total for this form of around 9000 in the autumn of 2009.

As the Taiga Bean Goose is one of the dew goose populations that have decreased in numbers during recent years, a special action plan has been developed within the framework of AEWA (African-European Waterfowl Agreement). A special task force for the species was also established within the frame work of the European Goose Management Platform (EGMP). This led to more intensive studies of Taiga Bean Geese.

In the last few years, special surveyes have been undertaken to separate the two forms of the Bean Geese on the staging areas. From these counts it is clear that the vast majority of the Bean Geese in Sweden in autumn and winter are Taiga Bean Geese (se graphs below). In the action plan the distribution area for the Taiga Bean Goose has been divided into management units. Of these the small western unit and the central units are mainly to be found in Sweden during the autumn (October), whereas the two eastern managment units are more to the east in Russia. During the last three winters the population of Taiga Bean Beese in Sweden was estimated to be between 65000 and 70000 individuals. Note that most of the geese that could not be separated to forms were most certainly Taiga Bean Geese.

In January, between 35000 and 40000 Taiga Bean Geese remained in south Sweden with no less tnat 55000 counted here in January 2017. Taking Denmark and Sweden together about 45000 - 60000 Taiga Bean Geese were counted in these two countries. Thus a number of Taiga Bean Geese migrated south of these countries during January, most probably to northern Germany.




Distribution map

Annual totals (diagrams for October, November and January)

Monthly totals



To Goose counts Gåsinventeringar

Last updated 2020-02-04