Emperor goose | American birds

   ›      ›   Emperor goose - Anser canagicus

The emperor goose (Anser canagicus) belongs to the family of duck, goose and swan, the Anatidae.

The emperor goose is distributed in westmost North America and Far East Russia. This goose species spend its entire life in Arctic and subarctic regions. This goose is monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Emperor Goose Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The emperor goose (Anser canagicus) is a large goose, measuring 65 to 90 cm in length and weighing 2000 to 3100 grams. The wingspan is 120 cm. The male is slightly larger.

The emperor goose has gray body with fine black and white barring. The head, nape and hinderneck are white. Iron-rich coastal waters may stain the head orange. The throat is dark gray and the tail is white.

The bill is relatively short. The upper beak is grayish at the two ends and pinkish in the middle. The lower beak is bluish gray. The irises are blackish. The legs and feet are bright orange. The call is a loud "quak.. quaak.. quaaak.. quaaak" sound.
Bird World - Image of Emperor goose - Anser canagicus
1.Bird World - Emperor goose - Anser canagicus
Image by Ken Billington/http://focusingonwildlife.com/

Bird World - Image of Emperor goose - Anser canagicus
2.Bird World - Emperor goose - Anser canagicus
Image by Tony Hisgett

Bird World - Image of Emperor goose - Anser canagicus
3.Bird World - Emperor goose - Anser canagicus
Image by Ken Billington/http://focusingonwildlife.com/

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The emperor goose is distributed in far west USA, far east Russia and along ice-free coasts around Bering Sea. Vagrant populations have been observed in Canada and Japan.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of this species in Russia are, Vankarem lowlands, Meinypylginski and Kapylgyn lakes, Mechigmenskiy Gulf, Lower Anadyr lowlands and Commander Islands.

Some of the IBA of this goose species in USA are, Kuskokwim River Delta, Wide Bay, Kuluk Bay, Seal Islands, Ivanof Bay, Port Heiden, Goodnews Bay, Egegik Bay, Nushagak Bay, Chiniak Bay, Nanvak Bay, Chignik Bay and Kvichak Bay.

Ecosystem and habitat

The emperor goose species does not normally occur in forest. It normally occur in altitudes between 0 to 100 meters.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include tundra grasslands, Arctic tundra, coastal lagoons, coastal lakes, intertidal shoreline, tidepools, estuaries and large freshwater lakes.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of the emperor goose species consists mainly of plant matter. Grass, leaves of sedges, algae and seaweed are their primary food. These species occasionally take invertebrates.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of this species is from May to July in most of its breeding range. The nesting sites are located in coastal tundra. The nest is a hollow scrape on the ground and the clutch contains 3 to 6 dirty white eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

The emperor goose species is fully migratory. The breeding populations occur in far northeast Russia and extreme west Alaska (USA).

These species winter along ice-free coasts around Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, Canada and the Alaska Peninsula.

Emperor goose - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Anser canagicus
  • Species author: (Sevastianov, 1802)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Anas canagicus Sewastianoff, 1802
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • , Vernacular names: English: Emperor goose, Chinese: 帝雁, French: Oie empereur, German: Kaisergans, Spanish: Ánsar emperador, Russian: Белошей, Japanese: ミカドガン
  • Other names: Beach goose, Emperor Goose, Painted goose
  • Distribution: USA, Russia
  • Diet and feeding habits: seeds, weeds, grass, invertebrates
  • IUCN status listing: Near Threatened (NT)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the emperor goose (Anser canagicus) is estimated to number more than 85,000 individual birds (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2001). The overall population trend of the species is considered to be decreasing.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be rare to uncommon. The generation length is 8.9 years. Its distribution size is about 775,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration, hunting for food, climate change, severe weather, human disturbance and trapping of adults and juveniles for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of this goose species.

IUCN and CITES status

The emperor goose (Anser canagicus) is approaching the thresholds for being Vulnerable, under the range size criterion, under the population trend criterion and under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the goose species and has listed it as "Near Threatened".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the emperor goose (Anser canagicus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Anser canagicus
Species:A. canagicus
Binomial name:Anser canagicus
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened
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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emperor_Goose_(Chen_canagica)_(3).JPG (cropped)
Author: Ken Billington/http://focusingonwildlife.com/ | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 10/16/18
2.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/5370597811/ (cropped)
Author: Tony Hisgett | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 10/16/18
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/ (cropped)
Author: Ken Billington/http://focusingonwildlife.com/ | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 10/16/18
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