Are Snow Geese Endangered? [Explained]

The answer to this question is no, snow geese are not endangered anymore. However, there was once a time when snow geese were endangered, and their population went down. But ever since the 1970s, the snow goose population has reached over 7 million due to excessive breeding.

Now that geese are no longer endangered animals and their population has increased by almost 300%, they must be thriving! Let’s find out more about these large water birds.

Are Snow Geese Endangered?

Snow geese are not endangered anymore. Their population has been increasing greatly for the past few decades. The population of snow geese has been fluctuating lately due to many circumstances.

Firstly, climate change has had quite an impact on their population. Just like other arctic geese, snow geese only benefit from climate change. Due to climate change, wintering areas have been expanding in recent years, which has, as a result, helped increase the population of snow geese.

In 1916, the population of snow geese in the US declined so speedily. There were so many laws implemented to ban hunting them. Ever since then, they have made one of the biggest comebacks.

What Would Happen If Snow Geese Went Extinct?

Snow geese might not sound like such important animals to exist in this world. However, the reality is quite different. The population of snow geese is of global importance.

snow goose

This is because snow geese benefit the environment more than you can ever imagine. Firstly, snow geese help to disperse seeds by consuming different berries, fruits, and seeds and distributing them throughout an area through their droppings.

Moreover, they also help enrich ecosystems through the nutrients that they spread with the help of their feces. They are also prey for many animals, such as foxes, coyotes, raptors, and even snakes. 

Why Is It Necessary to Protect Snow Geese?

It may look like snow geese are not that important to the world. However, that is false. Snow geese have been red-listed because these are the only geese species left in Asia. Moreover, this is the only species of goose that winters in North America but breeds outside North America.

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Due to this rareness of the snow goose, it is essential to protect these geese in the eyes of the American, Canadian, and even Russian wildlife agencies.

 On the other hand, these snow geese are valued by wildlife agencies and seen as essential birds by hunters, bird watchers, and even the ordinary people around us!

How Many Snow Geese Are Banded?

The answer to this is quite simple. About 100,000 geese are banded every single year. This process occurs in North America and is normally executed in breeding areas.

Why Are Snow Geese A Problem?

Sometimes, geese may be considered a problem because they have many habits that negatively affect the ecosystem and other animals. These geese are the leading cause of overwhelming where they nest, the arctic tundra.

They degrade the breeding areas that they share with other birds and animals, including sandpipers.

Snow geese also have a negative impact on farm vegetation and the wetland. Before the time of harvesting, geese devour most of the crops.

Are There Any Laws Against Hunting Snow Geese?

Yes, there are laws against hunting snow geese. The strictest law is in Canada. It is known as the MBCA, or the Migratory Birds Convention Act. This act helps protect snow geese and also has fines that may be charged depending on the act a person does against snow geese.

What Conflicts Do These Waterbirds Cause?

snow goose

Snow geese may cause quite a few conflicts. Firstly, geese tend to take flight in large numbers when migrating from one place to another, which is why there is a hazard of aircraft crashing into snow geese. As geese grow older, they start grazing on grass more often, which damages the habitat of salt marsh and kills bulrush.

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Moreover, geese also feed on hay crops and lands with pasture that are initially grown for the use of other animals. If they feed too extensively on these crops, it leads to a reduction in the yield of farmers and becomes unfair to other animals.

How Does Hunting Contribute to The Management Of Snow Geese?

Hunting contributes to the management of snow geese. Goose abundance is currently about 50,000-70,000 birds. The most haunting of these geese happens in the salt marshes and the fields of the west delta.

The laws of hunting these waterbirds help to maintain the population of these birds, which is growing larger and might get out of control if not maintained by hunting them constantly.

Liberal hunting limits have played a huge role in helping prevent excessive growth in population and keeping the Snow Goose population within desired limits over the past few years.

How Many Snow Geese Are There Now?

Now that we have learned that the snow geese population keeps fluctuating now and then due to hunting and their excessive breeding habits, you might be curious to learn how many snow geese exist in this day and age.

Well, the answer to that is quite simple. The population has expanded greatly to about 700,000 snow geese that exist today.

Snow Geese and Their Fortune

Winter food supplies can be a threat to the snow geese’s population growth. Although their growth rate is increasing by 5% per year on average, the scarcity or shortage of resources in the breeding area can cause their future population growth in danger.

snow goose

Pair-bond stability and breeding area philopatry are two effects of changes in population size.

We contend that long-term studies are essential to controlling and comprehending snow goose populations for both practical reasons (conservation, crop harm prediction) and scholarly investigations of population processes.

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Snow Geese Alternative Species and the Balance of the Global Eco-System

There is nothing insignificant in this world. Everything comes to necessities in times of want. One species of goose, the snow goose, is regarded as a priceless addition to nature. However, when it comes to balancing the global ecosystem, we can’t deny the other goose species apart from the snow geese population.

There are 17 other goose species besides the wild populations of Snow geese, including:

Goose species and populationEstimated population sizeYear of estimate% rate of change per annumPeriod of the rate of change
Taiga Bean Goose, scientifically known as Anser fabalis fabalisApproximately  52 000Estimated in 2015−6.0From 2006 to 2015
Tundra Bean Goose, scientifically known as Anser fabalis rossicusApproximately 600 000Estimated in 2014+2.6From 1990 to 2013
Iceland Pink-footed Goose, scientifically known as Anser brachyrhynchusApproximately 360 000Estimated in 2013+3.9From 1960 to 2013
Svalbard Pink-footed Goose, scientifically known as Anser brachyrhynchusApproximately 76 000Estimated in 2014+3.6From 1965 to 2013
Baltic-North Sea wintering White-fronted Goose, scientifically called as Anser albifrons albifronsApproximately 1 085 000Estimated in 2012+2.5From 1988 to 2012
Greenland White-fronted Goose, scientifically known as Anser albifrons flavirostrisApproximately 18 900Estimated in 2015−2.8From 1999 to 2014
Scandinavian Lesser White-fronted Goose, scientifically called as Anser erythropusApproximately 80Estimated in 2010−5.0From 1993 to 2008
Iceland Greylag Goose, scientifically proven as Anser anserApproximately 100 000Estimated in 2014+1.5From 1960 to 2013
UK breeding Greylag Goose, also known as Anser anserApproximately 140 000Estimated in 2014+9.4From 1998 to 2008
NW Europe breeding Greylag Goose, scientifically known as Anser anserApproximately 960 000Estimated in 2014+8.5From 1980 to 2008
Central European Greylag Goose, scientifically called as Anser anserApproximately 100 000Estimates in 2014+6.8From 1995 to 2008
Greenland Barnacle Goose, scientifically called as Branta leucopsisApproximately 80 500Estimated in 2013+3.6From 1959 to 2012
Svalbard Barnacle Goose, scientifically known as Branta leucopsisApproximately 38 000Estimated in 2013+6.6From 1956 to 2013
Russia/Baltic/North Sea Barnacle Goose, scientifically proven as  Branta leucopsisApproximately 1 200 000Estimated in 2015+7.8From 1960 to 2014
Russian Dark-bellied Brent Goose, scientifically known as Branta bernicla berniclaApproximately 211 000Estimated in 2011+5.6From 1956 to 2010
NE Canada light-bellied Brent Goose, scientifically called as Branta bernicla hrotaApproximately 48 000Estimated in 2011+4.4From 1996 to 2013
Svalbard light-bellied Brent Goose, scientifically known as Branta bernicla hrotaApproximately 7500Estimated in 2015+2.4From 1987 to 2015


How rare is a snow goose?

A snow goose is not rare at all! Their population is increasing at the rate of 5% every single year!

Is a blue morph snow goose rare?

Yes, the dark goose that is also known as the blue morph snow goose, is very rare. This is especially the case in Washington.

Are snow geese protected in Canada?

Yes, snow geese are protected in Canada. These are protected under the MBCA, which is the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Can you get in trouble for hunting a snow goose in Canada?

Yes, under the MBCA, you can get in trouble for hunting a snow goose in Canada. Under this law, you might have to pay a fine of $5000 to $15000. However, this varies on the offensive actions.

Are snow geese aggressive?

Snow geese are naturally aggressive and may even run over each other and hurt each other just to get their food first.


Snow geese are not an endangered species anymore. They were, however, at risk once in the early 1900s. Ever since then, they have had a great increase in their population. This has consequently increased the number of snow geese to about 700,000 in the world now! These waterbirds are not rare ones, but they are only found in the Arctic and subarctic areas of Russia and North America. Snow geese are not endangered species and are protected by many laws that forbid hunting them.

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