The 2002 Icelandic-breeding Goose Census
Hearn, R.
Online only
The Icelandic-breeding Goose Census (IGC) is coordinated by The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and has been conducted annually since 1960; it relies principally on a network of dedicated volunteer observers to collect data. The results are published by The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, in partnership with JNCC.


The 43rd consecutive census of Pink-footed Geese and Iceland Greylag Geese took place during autumn and early winter 2002.  Two discrete counts were undertaken, one in October and another in November.  Some sites were also counted during September.  Coverage was reasonable, although some important sites were not surveyed, and was again extended beyond Britain and Ireland: comprehensive coverage was achieved in the Faeroe Islands and estimates were also available for parts of Iceland and Norway.  Weather conditions were generally favourable, although conditions prevented the count being made on the co-ordinated weekend in some areas.  Maxima of 210,923 Pink-footed Geese and 62,145 Greylag Geese were recorded in November.  These figures were adjusted to account for major sites that were not counted and for the number of Greylag Geese from the re-established and NW Scotland populations in the UK counted prior to this census, resulting inn population estimates of 229,824 Pink-footed Geese and 73,115 Greylag Geese.  Both population estimates were lower than those calculated for 2001: the Pink-footed Goose estimate represents a decrease of 15.2% and the Greylag Goose estimate decreased 18.4%.  Possible explanations for these low counts are discussed.  Pink-footed Geese had a good breeding season in 2002: autumn flocks contained 21.0% young and mean brood size was 2.3 goslings per successful pair.  Greylag Geese were less successful than average and autumn flocks contained 15.9% young and mean brood size was 2.8 goslings per successful pair.



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Please cite as: Hearn, R., (2004), The 2002 Icelandic-breeding Goose Census, Online only