2023 census dates

for the Icelandic-breeding Goose Census:

14–15 October
18–19 November

Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme Logo

Project partners

British Trust for Ornithology logo
JNCC logo
NatureScot Logo

Project partners

British Trust for Ornithology logo
JNCC logo

About GSMP

The GSMP works to support the protection and conservation of our internationally important non-breeding goose and swan populations through monitoring, surveillance, and delivery of robust scientific evidence, outreach, and by stimulating research to target effective management action.

Pink-footed Geese. Chas Holt / BTO
Pink-footed Geese. Chas Holt / BTO 

The GSMP monitors 13 of the 14 major geese and migratory swan populations in the UK, estimating population size and identifying important wintering areas. The project focuses on specific populations of species, rather than species as a whole - for example, it monitors the population of Barnacle Geese that breeds in Svalbard and largely winters in the Solway Firth separately from the population which breeds in Greenland and winters around the west and north coast of Scotland. 

The UK has particular responsibility for seven of the 14 goose and swan populations, as most or all of these populations winter in the UK, or use the UK as a stopover site on migration. The GSMP includes surveys to monitor these populations, collecting data on the abundance, geographic distribution and demography of the birds. The populations surveyed by GSMP are those for which data are most important for conservation and management purposes, and where the majority or a significant proportion of the populations are found outside the sites covered by the BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS).

Which populations are monitored by the GSMP?

Wintering populations of:

  • Whooper Swan (Amber-listed)
  • Bewick’s Swan (Red-listed)
  • Pink-footed Goose (Amber-listed) 
  • Taiga Bean Goose (Red-listed) 
  • Svalbard Barnacle Goose (Amber-listed)
  • Greenland Barnacle Goose (Amber-listed)
  • East Canadian-breeding Nearctic Light-bellied Brent Goose (Amber-listed)
  • East Atlantic (Svalbard) Pale-bellied Brent Goose (Amber-listed)
  • Dark-bellied Brent Goose (Amber-listed)
  • Icelandic-breeding Greylag Goose (Amber-listed)
  • North Scotland-breeding Greylag Goose (Amber-listed)
  • Greenland White-fronted Goose (Red-listed)
  • Eurasian White-fronted Goose (Red-listed)

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