Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Near Threatened

Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus)


French: Oie empereur German: Kaisergans Spanish: Ánsar emperador

Anas canagicus


, 1802,

Kanaga Island, Aleutian Islands


Sometimes placed in monospecific Philacte or, alternatively, more often in Chen. Monotypic.


Gulf of Anadyr and Chukotskiy Peninsula, in NE Russia, and extreme NW USA (W Alaska). Winters in Kamchatka, Aleutian Is and SW Alaska.

Descriptive notes

66–89 cm; 2766–3129 g, male 2316 g (mean), female 1945 g (mean); wingspan 119 cm. Unmistakable. Very different appearance when strongly stained in spring, shortly... read more


Vocalizations readily distinguished from those of other geese (more nasal than sympatric nesting... read more


Open sites in tidally influenced Arctic tundra, near coastal lagoons or inland, as well as near... read more

Food and feeding

Grasses, leaves of sedges and berries on breeding grounds; also seaweed and algae along coast, complemented with some animal food (... read more


Starts late May/Jun: typically 20 May–3 Jun on Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Alaska) but c. 3 weeks later in Russia, often within c. 5 days... read more


Migratory, most populations moving 600–750 km, wintering along Aleutian Is and Gulf of Alaska... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently (since 2000) treated as Near Threatened. Has undergone marked decline in recent times and population most recently estimated at 45,000... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 January 2020).