Wintering geese

Geese from Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland visit Scotland in internationally important numbers every winter.

Impressive flocks of geese are one of Scotland’s most famous wildlife spectacles. But, in some areas, growing goose numbers have led to an increase in agricultural damage.

In Scotland, you can see:

Monitoring Geese

The Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme is changing. On 30 August, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and NatureScot formed a partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) to take forward this important survey scheme that monitors selected goose and migratory swan populations during the non-breeding season. This new partnership secures the future of this vital programme and offers the opportunity to strengthen existing links with WeBS, which has been organised by BTO for many years, ensuring that all information on wintering waterbirds will be easily accessible in one place.

GSMP focuses on our internationally important wintering goose and swan populations, all of which are Red or Amber-listed species in the latest Birds of Conservation Concern assessment. For many of these goose and swan populations, majority of the entire world population relies on UK, and for several species Scottish, wetlands during the non-breeding season. The results enable us to assess the status of geese and swans wintering in the UK and inform conservation action both in the UK and internationally.


Migrating pink-footed geese arriving at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

Pink-footed geese in flight.
Click for a full description

A skein of pink-footed geese above Loch Leven National Nature Reserve.

Further information

Last updated: