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< >  Anser rossii - Ross's goose (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Ross Goose
Ross's Snow Goose
Oie de Ross (French)
Zwergschneegans (German)
Ansar de Ross (Spanish)
Ganso de Ross (Spanish)
Chen rossii

Names for newly-hatched

Gosling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B4, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B95, B96, B97, B108, B128.w1, B129
D1, D8

Other References

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General information:
  • Northern (True) Geese are generally hardy and easy to manage. They are usually gregarious and many species may be kept in flocks, however they tend to be territorial and aggressive in the breeding season and some may need to be maintained in separate pens. It is often possible to keep small ducks with pairs of geese, unless the individual goose pair is particularly pugnacious. They should always be provided with adequate water for swimming.
  • For a single pair of geese a total pen area of 300m² (or 200m²  for smaller species, e.g. Branta ruficollis - Red-breasted goose), with at least 20% of this area water is suggested, although more water should be provided if possible in a larger pen (D1).
  • Geese are grazers and should have access to good short grass (less than 3 inches, 7.5cm long) for grazing. When grass is scarce, it may be supplemented with greenfood such as cabbage, lettuce etc.; alfalfa pellets have also been used for this purpose. Additional grain and pellets should be given, with a change to breeder pellets in the breeding season, at which time less or no grain may be fed. Breeding success may be decreased if these species are allowed to become too fat and this can be problematic particularly for the species which normally breed in the high Arctic.
  • Goslings may be parent hatched and reared, although being mainly terrestrial they are more vulnerable to predation than are cygnets. Whether parent or hand-reared, goslings should be provided with unlimited grazing and other green food such as chopped lettuce, as well as starter crumbs.
  • Geese species may hybridise with one another, but this is not usually a problem if they are well paired before being mixed with other birds.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B95, B108, B128.w1, B129, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Ross's geese are hardy and easy to manage. They should be provided with a large area of grazing and clear, pure water. They usually mix well with other waterfowl, and tend to remain if kept full-winged. In addition to grass, they may be fed wheat, pellets, greenfood, and bread: plenty of green food, and avoid overfeeding.
  • These geese are fairly easy to breed. They appreciate some natural cover for breeding, and they usually lay from May to June.
  • Hybrids reported with Anser anser - Greylag goose, Anser caerulescens - Snow goose, Anser canagica - Emperor goose, Branta ruficollis - Red-breasted goose.

(B29, B40, B94, B96, B97, B108).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme suggested average closed ring size: N 13.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 21-26 inches, 53-66cm (B3,B1)
Adult weight General 1224-1633g (B1).
Male Average 1315g (B3); mean 2.9 lbs. (B8).
Female Average 1224g (B3); mean 2.7 lbs. (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Pink, very short. Distinct bluish warty protuberances at base.
Variations (If present) Less warty area in females.
Eyes (Iris) Male Dark brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Greenish-grey becoming pink.
Eyes (Iris) Dark brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Deep pink.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Greenish-grey becoming pink.

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Plumage

Adult Male White except for black primary wing feathers (primaries).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile White, except rear crown, nape and scapulars brownish-grey, primaries grey/brown.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts grey, underparts paler. Sometimes yellowish and variably darker or lighter.
Bill: Grey.
Feet: Grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins June.
No. of Clutches One. Do not lay second clutch if clutch destroyed.

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground, a shallow mound of twigs, grass, moss and lichen, down-lined.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 4-5 (B1).
Range 2-6 (B1); 4-5 (B8).
Egg Description Pink to white (B3,B8). Size: 70 x 47mm. Weight: 94g. (B3)

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Incubation

About 21-22 days (B1); 19-25 (mean 22) days (B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

About 40 days (B1); 40-45 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Two to three years old.
Females Two to three years old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults --
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female. In colonies.
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Tended by both parents.
Juveniles

From about three weeks old, broods join to form large crèches.

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Highly gregarious.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

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Predation in Wild

Gulls, jaegers, Arctic foxes.

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Activity Patterns

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Circadian Diurnal.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Basically vegetarian. Breeding season roots, leaves, stems, green parts of aquatic plants and sedges. Winter also grain and green grasses.

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal

Arctic Canada, mainly in region of Perry river.

Migratory. Winters in California (Sacramento valley), New Mexico, Gulf coast of USA.

Occasional and Accidental

Vagrant to other areas of USA and possibly to north-west Europe.

Introduced

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Habitat

Breeding: rocky or scrubby predator-free islands in large lakes. Winter: low agricultural land.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Not considered threatened (B1).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Commonly found and bred in collections (B8).

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Trade

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