Breeding and Non-Breeding Range of Canada, Branta canadensis, and Cackling Geese, Branta hutchinsii, in the Eastern Canadian Arctic


  • Mark L. Mallory Canadian Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1714, Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
  • Alain J. Fontaine Canadian Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1714, Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
  • Hugh Boyd Canadian Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University (Raven Road), Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3



Branta canadensis, Canada Goose, Branta hutchinsii, Cackling Goose, breeding, distribution, Arctic


The accepted breeding distribution of Canada Geese from the Atlantic Population (Branta canadensis interior) in the eastern Canadian Arctic is currently confined to northern Québec and the south coast of Baffin Island. Here we provide evidence based on observations from scientific studies, Inuit hunters, and territorial Wildlife Officers that B. c. interior now breeds in growing numbers 500 km farther north on northeastern Baffin Island than previously reported. Cackling Geese (B. hutchinsii), which breed more widely across eastern Arctic Canada, to about 72°N, may also be increasing there. Moreover, individuals of both species are seen occasionally as far north as Ellesmere Island in small flocks and within migrating or moulting flocks of Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) or Brant (B. bernicla hrota), though none of these far northern stragglers are known to have bred. Whether these observations reflect a recent range expansion or improved distributional knowledge from more intensive recent survey efforts remains unknown.