Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis



When the goose counts in Sweden started in the seventies only single individuals and small groups of Barnacle Geese were counted In some years up to a few hundred Barnacle Geese were counted in south Sweden (1978, 1987, 1989 and 1991). During the nineties there was a change of habits in the Barnacle Geese and large flocks were regularly seen in Scania, the southernmost province of Sweden during the autumn, especially in the Foteviken area in the southwest with large shore meadows but also in inland areas.

In the autumn 2000, the situation changed drastically, and at the November count no less than 54799 Barnacle Geese were recorded in Sweden. This is probably on the low side as a number of sites normally not covered in the goose counts were reported to held some Barnacles. The Barnacles were found over a large part of southern Sweden, but there was a concentration to the southwest corner of Scania, where about 35000 stayed in the Foteviken area. The Barnacles were common already in October with 13 600 counted and close to 1000 remained during the mild winter.

The increase in the number of staging Barnacle Geese in Sweden continued and in October 2015  317000 Barnacle Geese were counted. More than 250000 still remained in November. The counts for 2016 was markedly lower, but in October 2017 close to 300000 were counted in Sweden. In 2018, the Barnacle Geese arrived later and October totals less than 200000 but in November 307000 staging Barnacle Geese were counted in Sweden. In October 2019 the highest total during the series of counts was recorded for Sweden with no less than 365000 Barnacle Geese.

Most Barnacle Geese were counted in Scania but large flocks were also found on Öland and Gotland. In 2004, both October and November totals were around 23000 individuals, the largest flocks being found at the west coast of SW Scania from Barsebäck to Foteviken.

In line with the increase in staging numbers in the autumn, winter totals also increased. In the last six years more than 20000 were counted in Sweden with no less than about 50000 in January 2018 and close to 97000 in January 2019.


Distribution maps

Diagram for October, November and January

Monthly totals



To Goose counts Gåsinventeringar

Page last updated 2020-02-04