Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)


Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus)


French: Oie naine German: Zwerggans Spanish: Ánsar chico

Anas erythropus


, 1758,

“Europa septentrionalis” = northern Sweden


Closely related to A. albifrons; the two have apparently hybridized in captivity#R. Monotypic.


Breeds in discontinuous narrow band across Arctic Eurasia from Norway to E Siberia. Winters from C & SE Europe E to Iran and in C China, Korea and Japan.

Descriptive notes

53–66 cm; male 1950–2300 g, female 2100–2150 g; wingspan 115–135 cm. White forehead reminiscent of A. albifrons and also has white claws;... read more


Squeakier and higher-pitched than calls of A. albifrons; gives two- or three-note calls,... read more


Favours variety of Arctic open habitats, particularly scrub-covered and lightly wooded tundra near... read more

Food and feeding

Essentially vegetarian, but very few specific data; mainly green parts of grasses, plants and small bushes. In Yangtze Valley (EC China),... read more


Generally starts late May/Jun, exceptionally as late as 10 Jul; may not depart breeding grounds until mid Aug to mid Sept. Wild populations... read more


Migratory, main wintering areas in E & SE Europe, on coastal plains of Caspian and Black Seas,... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Protected in most of the key range states, except Azerbaijan and China, where hunting still occurs. Overall population most recently estimated at 18,000–22,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus). 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 28 January 2020).