Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Mergus merganser - Goosander

Range & Status

Holarctic; in Britain and Ireland 2600 pairs breed; 16,000 winter. The British population is increasing. It first bred in Devon in 1980, with at least eight pairs in 1993 (in Dartmoor National Park).

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: a winter visitor in small numbers to moorland streams and reservoirs (20 - 30 in total), the chief sites being Crowdy and Siblyback where they gather for communal roosting. Sporadic breeding is suspected on the upper reaches of the Tamar and Camel rivers since 1987, as yet unconfirmed. Isles of Scilly: rare winter visitor.

Habitat & Ecology

Feeds and breeds by wooded fast flowing streams and rivers, flying to open lakes towards dusk for communal roosting.


None known.


Searching upper reaches of rivers running off Bodmin Moor to locate potential breeding pairs could be rewarding. Breeding potential could be aided by the erection of nesting boxes. Dusk observations at known roosts would give best the indication of population levels (Smaldon, 1994). Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.