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Carl Mitchell, Richard Hearn and David Stroud

Abstract Two breeding populations of Greylag Goose Anser anser are currently recognised in the UK: i) the northwest Scotland (or native) population, which is the remnant of the population that once occurred more widely across Britain; and ii) the re-established population of birds released primarily by wildfowlers during the period from the 1930s to the 1960s. As a result of recent large increases in the abundance and distribution of both populations, there are now numerous areas where birds of mixed or uncertain provenance occur, making it impractical to continue to treat them as separate populations. We propose that, for conservation management purposes, counts and estimates of the population size of the two populations should be merged to form a new British Greylag Goose population. This paper provides a brief overview of the evidence and assesses current gaps in knowledge and the consequences of this proposed change.

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