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Lesser white-fronted goose


The small-sized lesser white-fronted goose breeds in mountain swamps, around mountain ponds and rivers in the northern parts of Lapland. They have adapted well to the short summer of its northern territory. They feed on green parts of aquatic and terrestrial plants, as well as seeds and berries. The young ones develop fastest of all goose species, and are hence ready for the migrating journey with their mothers.


In the first half of the 1900’s the lesser white-fronted goose population was the most numerous of the goose species in Lapland. Nowadays the lesser white-fronted goose is listed as a critically endangered species: the population in all of Fennoscandia is estimated to be only about 20–30 individuals. The greatest endangerment to the lesser white-fronted goose population is considered to be the threats it confronts on its migratory routes and on winter grounds. In addition, habitat deterioration, largely due to land cultivation and drying up the marshy ground for farming and hunting have caused further decline of the small population. Establishing protected areas along the migration routes, and increasing public awareness locally, will add to the efforts of rescuing the lesser white-fronted goose population. For further rescue efforts of our lesser white-fronted goose population, birds have also been raised in parks, but this has not gained unreserved approval.


Lesser white-fronted geese migrate to the shores of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea for their winter grounds.

Lesser white-fronted goose

Anser erythropus

Class: Aves – Birds

Order: Anseriformes – Ducks

Family: Anatidae – Mallards, Geese And Swans

Size: Weight: 1,5-2kg, wingspan: 120-135cm.

Breeding: The female lays 4-5 eggs in the turn of May-June, incubation period: 25–28 days and nights. Independent their first winter, sexual maturity in 3 years.

Lifespan: About 12 years.

Did you know…

Did you know that in the work of protecting the lesser white-fronted goose, ringing of birds as well as the satellite transmitter follow-up, form a very important aspect? By following up the movement of birds, we learn about their migration routes and winter grounds, thus directing the protective measurements to correct areas.