Cackling Goose

Branta hutchinsii

Until recently this species was a collection of subspecies within the Canada Goose complex. In 2004 the American Ornithological Union split the three small subspecies (leucopareia,minima, andhutchinsii) and the form known astavernifrom the rest of the subspecies of Canada Goose and formed the species now known as Cackling Goose. The Aleutian form of the Cackling Goose (leucopareia) regularly occurs during migration on the Pribilofs and occasionally some individuals will linger through the summer. Individuals of the very small and darkminimaform of Cackling Goose have also appeared on the island. Aleutian Cackling Geese were close to extinction just a few decades before, but with USWFWS eradicating exotic Arctic Foxes from their breeding grounds in the Aleutians the species is currently on the rebound. As numbers continue to increase it is possible that this species may attempt breeding on Saint Paul or one of the other Pribilof Islands.