Anser rossii - Cassin, 1861
Ross's Goose
Synonym(s): Chen rossii (Cassin, 1861)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Chen rossii (Cassin, 1861) (TSN 175041)
French Common Names: oie de Ross
Spanish Common Names: Ganso de Ross
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104055
Element Code: ABNJB04020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Waterfowl
Image 10686

© Dick Cannings

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae Anser
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Chen rossii
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly placed in the genus Chen, but phylogenomic data indicate that Anser is paraphyletic if Chen is treated as a separate genus (Ottenburghs et al. 2016) (AOU 2017). Infrequently hybridizes with C. caerulescens.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 20Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5M (26Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNRN), Arizona (S2N), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Idaho (S3M), Illinois (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S3N), Minnesota (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (S4N), Navajo Nation (S1N), Nebraska (SNRN), Nevada (S3N), New Mexico (S5N), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Oklahoma (SU), Oregon (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Texas (S3), Utah (SNA), Wyoming (S4N)
Canada Alberta (S4M), Manitoba (S3B), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Northwest Territories (S4B), Nunavut (S5B,S5M), Ontario (S1B), Quebec (S3M), Saskatchewan (S5M)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: BREEDS: mainly Queen Maud Gulf area (northern Mackenzie, northwestern Keewatin) also southern Southhampton Island, western coast of Hudson Bay, and Sagavanirktok River delta, Alaska (Johnson and Troy 1987). WINTERS: mainly in the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Imperial valleys in California; also southern Texas, New Mexico, and southern Arizona. In recent years, has been wintering in growing numbers in the middle Rio Grande valley of New Mexico and in lakes of northern Chihuahua (Johnson and Herter 1989).

Short-term Trend Comments: Fall population in the central U.S. may be increasing (Frederick and Johnson 1983). There was an increasing trend in the population index during the 1980s (USFWS 1988).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: BREEDS: mainly Queen Maud Gulf area (northern Mackenzie, northwestern Keewatin) also southern Southhampton Island, western coast of Hudson Bay, and Sagavanirktok River delta, Alaska (Johnson and Troy 1987). WINTERS: mainly in the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Imperial valleys in California; also southern Texas, New Mexico, and southern Arizona. In recent years, has been wintering in growing numbers in the middle Rio Grande valley of New Mexico and in lakes of northern Chihuahua (Johnson and Herter 1989).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NN, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WY
Canada AB, MB, NF, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002

Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Eggs are laid in late May-June (mainly first 3 weeks of June; varies with weather and snow conditions). Single-brood per year. Female incubates usually 3-5, sometimes 2-6, eggs for about 21-22 days. Hatching occurs usually in early July in Beaufort Sea region. Nestlings are precocial and downy, remain with adults until following spring. Nests in loose colonies.
Ecology Comments: See McLandress (1983) for information on dynamics of breeding populations. May benefit by nesting near snow goose (McLandress 1983).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Begins migrating northward in early March, usually arrives at Perry River nesting area (NWT) in late May. Migrates southward in September; generally follows spring routes, stops in Peace-Athabasca delta and in prairie regions of northern and central Alberta and western Saskatchewan, where may remain until early November in mild fall (Johnson and Herter 1989).
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, River mouth/tidal river
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Tundra
Habitat Comments: In migration and winter mainly in marshy lakes, wet prairies, foraging in grassy areas, pastures and cultivated fields. Sometimes in coastal lakes, bays and river mouths (Cogswell 1977). Nests in arctic tundra, usually on remote lake islands and deltas. High nest density recorded in heath patches on islands (McLandress 1983). Female constructs nest in a scrape, building a mound of twigs, grasses, mosses, and lichens.
Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore
Food Comments: Grazes on new green growth in grasslands; feeds on grain in fields. During initial part of breeding period uses nutritional reserves accumulated in winter and in staging areas. Young and molting adults feed on insects and grass/sedge shoots while moving from interior lakes to more coastal areas (Johnson and Herter 1989).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 58 centimeters
Weight: 1588 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Swans and Geese

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Nest Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Map Foraging Areas in separate polygons from the nest site if they are separated from the nest by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas and foraging areas used during the nesting season, but the separation distance is based on nesting-area polygons. Thus different occurrences may overlap if birds from different nesting areas travel to the same foraging area during the nesting season. The separation distance is arbitrary but is intended to yield occurrences that are not impracticably large for conservation purposes.

Canada Geese usually forage near nest site, but adults will forage up to 8 kilometers away (Williams and Sooter 1941, Hammond and Mann 1956) and young will occasionally travel up to 16 kilometers to a foraging area as well (Palmer 1976). Mean home ranges of brood-rearing Snow Geese ranged from 6.6 to 21.7 square kilometers on Bylot Island (Hughes et al. 1994).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on the conservative, smaller mean home range for Snow Geese of 6.6 square kilometers (Hughes et al. 1994).
Date: 26Apr2004
Author: Cannings, S. and G. Hammerson
Notes: Contains all species of swans and geese, as well as whistling-ducks.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Some swans - Cygnus buccinator, in particular - have known migratory routes and staging areas. For these, evidence of past or present recurring presence of migrating or staging flocks and potential recurring presence at a given location. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season and habitat; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set to yield occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes.
Date: 07Aug2017
Author: Ormes, M.
Notes: Created at request of NE; needs review by zoologist.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging area, Roosting site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of past or present recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds, including nonbreeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season, and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 50 birds occur regularly for at least 20 days per year would be deemed EOs.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary, set to yield occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations. Swans and geese can travel considerable distances on a daily basis; in winter, flocks of Canada Geese foraged up to 48 km from roost in Texas (Glazener 1946).
Date: 26Apr2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Notes: Contains all species of swans and geese, as well as whistling-ducks.

Use Class: Wintering site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Overlaps with Nonbreeding LUC, but some swans - Cygnus buccinator in particular - have distinct wintering and staging areas. For these, evidence of past or present recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds, and potential recurring presence at a given location. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season and habitat; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Date: 07Aug2017
Author: Ormes, M.
Notes: Created at request of NE; needs review by zoologist.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 04Oct1988
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Abraham, K. 1999. Ross's Goose Breeding Records - email to Colin Jones dated Dec. 23, 1999. . 2 pp.

  • Alabama Ornithological Society. 2006. Field checklist of Alabama birds. Alabama Ornithological Society, Dauphin Island, Alabama. [Available online at http://www.aosbirds.org/documents/AOSChecklist_april2006.pdf ]

  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • American Ornithological Society (AOS). Chesser, R. T., K. J. Burns, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, Jr., J. D. Rising, D. F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2017. Fifty-eighth supplement to the American Ornithological Society's Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 134:751-773. DOI: 10.1642/AUK-17-72.1.

  • American Ornithologists Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American Birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pages.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), Committee on Classification and Nomenclature. 1983. Check-list of North American Birds. Sixth Edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Chesser, R.T., K.J. Burns, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2017. Fifty-eighth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 134:751-773.

  • Andrews, R. R. and R. R. Righter. 1992. Colorado Birds. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver. 442 pp.

  • Aquin, P. 1999. Évaluation de la situation des groupes taxonomiques des oiseaux du Québec. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune. 13 pages.

  • B83COM01NAUS - Added from 2005 data exchange with Alberta, Canada.

  • Baillie, J.L. 1957. Recent additions to Ontario's bird list. Ontario Field Biologist 11:1-3.

  • BirdLife International. 2004b. Threatened birds of the world 2004. CD ROM. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

  • Cadman, M.D., P.F.J. Eagles and F.M. Helleiner (eds.) 1987. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario. Federation of Ontario Naturalists and Long Point Bird Observatory. University of Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Ontario. 617 pp.

  • Canadian Wildlife Service. 1995. Last Mountain Lake and Stalwart National Wildlife Areas: Bird Checklist - Fourth Edition. Environment Canada. Ottawa, ON.

  • Canadian Wildlife Service. 1996. Population status and trends in waterfowl in Canada. Bird Trends (Canadian Wildlife Service) 5: 1-7.

  • Cogswell, H. L. 1977. Water birds of California. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 399 pp.

  • Desrosiers A., F. Caron et R. Ouellet. 1995. Liste de la faune vertébrée du Québec. Les publications du Québec. 122

  • Dobos, R.Z. 1999. Ontario Bird Records Committee report for 1998. Ontario Birds 17(2):62-83.

  • Frederick, R. B., and R. R. Johnson. 1983. Ross' goose increasing in central North America. Condor 85:257-258.

  • Glazener, W. C. 1946. Food habits of wild geese on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management 10:322-329.

  • Godfrey, W. E. 1986. The birds of Canada. Revised edition. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa. 596 pp. + plates.

  • Godfrey, W.E. 1986. The Birds of Canada. Revised edition. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottowa, Canada. 595 pp.

  • Hammond, M. C., and G. E. Mann. 1956. Waterfowl nesting islands. Journal of Wildlife Management 20:345-352.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Hughes, R. J., A. Reed, and G. Gauthier. 1994. Space and habitat use by Greater Snoow Goose broods on Bylot Island, Northwest Territories. Journal of Wildlife Management 58:536-545.

  • Imhof, T. A. 1976. Alabama birds. Second edition. Univ. Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa. 445 pp.

  • Johnson, S. R. and D. R. Herter. 1989. The Birds of the Beaufort Sea. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., Anchorage, Alaska. 372 pp.

  • Johnson, S. R., and D. M. Troy. 1987. Nesting of the Ross'goose and blue-phase snow goose in the Sagavanirktok river delta, Alaska. Condor 89:665-667.

  • Kortright, F.H. 1967. The ducks, geese, and swans of North America. The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, PA, and Wildlife Management Institute, Washington, D.C. 476 pp.

  • LaRue, C.T. 1994. Birds of northern Black Mesa, Navajo County, Arizona. Great Basin Naturalist 54(1):1-63.

  • Livezey, B. C. 1986. A phylogenetic analysis of recent Anseriform genera using morphological characters. Auk 103:737-754.

  • Lowery, George H. 1974. The Birds of Louisiana. LSU Press. 651pp.

  • Manitoba Avian Research Committee. 2003. The Birds of Manitoba. Manitoba Naturalists Society, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 504 pp.

  • Manitoba Conservation Data Centre. 2019. Manitoba Bird Rank Review by Ken De Smet and Christian Artuso.

  • McAtee W.L. 1959. Folk - names of candian birds. National Museum of Canada. Folk - names of candian birds. National Museum of Canada. 74 pages.

  • McLandress, M. R. 1983. Temporal changes in habitat selection and nest spacing in a colony of Ross' and lesser snow geese. Auk 100: 335-343.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • North American Waterfowl Management Plan. 1998. Expanding the vision 1998 update. Canadian Wildlife Service. 32 pp.

  • Ouellet H., M. Gosselin et J.P. Artigau. 1990. Nomenclature française des oiseaux d'Amérique du Nord. Secrétariat d'État du Canada. 457 p.

  • Palmer, R. S., editor. 1976. Handbook of North American birds. Vol. 2. Waterfowl (first part). Whistling ducks, swans, geese, sheld-ducks, dabbling ducks. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven. 521 pp.

  • Parker III, T. A., D. F. Stotz, and J. W. Fitzpatrick. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases for neotropical birds. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

  • Parks Canada. 2000. Vertebrate Species Database. Ecosystems Branch, 25 Eddy St., Hull, PQ, K1A 0M5.

  • Peck, G.K. and R.D. James. 1983. The Breeding Birds of Ontario: Nidiology and Distribution. Volume 1: Nonpasserines. Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publication, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario. xii + 321 pp.

  • Poole, A. F. and F. B. Gill. 1992. The birds of North America. The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. and The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Prevett, J.P. and C.D. MacInnes. 1972. The number of Ross' Geese in central North America. The Condor 74: 431-438.

  • Prevett, J.P. and F.C. Johnson. 1977. Continued eastern expansion of breeding range of Ross' Goose. The Condor, 79(1): 121-123.

  • Robinson, J.C. 1982. Mid-continent observations of Ross' Geese. Birding News Survey, 1982-83 issue: 65.

  • Root, T. 1988. Atlas of wintering North American birds: An analysis of Christmas Bird Count data. University of Chicago Press. 336 pp.

  • See SERO listing

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • THOMPSON,M.C., AND C. ELY.1989. BIRDS IN KANSAS VOLUME ONE.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1988. SEIS 88. Final supplemental environmental impact statement: issuance of annual regulations permitting the sport hunting of migratory birds. x + 340 pp.

  • Wildlife Management Information System (WMIS). 2006+. Geo-referenced wildlife datasets (1900 to present) from all projects conducted by Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada.  Available at http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/programs/wildlife-research/wildlife-management-information-services

  • Williams, C. S., and C. A. Sooter. 1941. Canada Goose habitats in Utah and Oregon. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference 5:383-387.

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