Every year, a report is made outlining the census work that is undertaken on the wintering grounds of the Greenland White-fronted Geese within Britain and Ireland.
Last year the global count of the geese was 20,186 which was down from 21,509 the previous year. In Ireland as a whole we had 8,410 birds which was down from 10,418. In Wexford the decline was even more noticeable, with our numbers for last year down to 6,262 from 8,312 and the reproductive success of the birds in Ireland being among the lowest ever at 6.4%.
Samples on the flocks in Ireland found that after the 2020 breeding season, the percentage of young was 6.4% compared to 10.8 the previous season. The brood size of 3.24 was slightly up from 3.07 the previous season. Despite the low reproductive success found in Wexford, which is usually an indicator of poor production of young throughout Ireland, the number of birds in flocks away from Wexford changed very little from the previous year. The Spring count in Wexford was the lowest since 1982/83, due probably in part to this low reproductive rate.
It is only through the constant monitoring of this iconic species through the years, using up to date satellite telemetry, and boots on the ground observation and counting, that it can be protected.