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< >  Branta sandvicensis - Nene (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Nene
NÚnÚ
Nene Goose
NÚnÚ Goose
Hawaiian Goose
Bernache nÚnÚ (French)
Bernache d'Hawaii (French)
Hawaiigans (German)
Barnacla NenÚ (Spanish)
Ganso hawaiano (Spanish)
Nesochen sandvicensis

Names for newly-hatched

Gosling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B4, B8, B19, B25, B26, B43

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B95, B96, B97, B108, B128.w1, B129
D1, D8

Other References

B44.9.w1
W2
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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General information:
  • Northern (True) Geese are generally hardy and easy to manage. They are usually gregarious and many species may be kept in flocks, however they tend to be territorial and aggressive in the breeding season and some may need to be maintained in separate pens. It is often possible to keep small ducks with pairs of geese, unless the individual goose pair is particularly pugnacious. They should always be provided with adequate water for swimming.
  • For a single pair of geese a total pen area of 300m▓ (or 200m▓  for smaller species, e.g. Branta ruficollis - Red-breasted goose), with at least 20% of this area water is suggested, although more water should be provided if possible in a larger pen (D1).
  • Geese are grazers and should have access to good short grass (less than 3 inches, 7.5cm long) for grazing. When grass is scarce, it may be supplemented with greenfood such as cabbage, lettuce etc.; alfalfa pellets have also been used for this purpose. Additional grain and pellets should be given, with a change to breeder pellets in the breeding season, at which time less or no grain may be fed. Breeding success may be decreased if these species are allowed to become too fat and this can be problematic particularly for the species which normally breed in the high Arctic.
  • Goslings may be parent hatched and reared, although being mainly terrestrial they are more vulnerable to predation than are cygnets. Whether parent or hand-reared, goslings should be provided with unlimited grazing and other green food such as chopped lettuce, as well as starter crumbs.
  • Geese species may hybridise with one another, but this is not usually a problem if they are well paired before being mixed with other birds.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B95, B108, B128.w1, B129, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Nenes are generally hardy and not difficult to keep, but somewhat cold-sensitive, prone to frost-bitten feet (Frostbite); they should be provided with thick straw and a shelter may be required depending on climate. Large areas of grazing preferred. These geese are generally tame and confiding - some ganders may be aggressive during the breeding season. Grazing should be supplemented with grain, pellets, green food and bread, particularly in winter.
  • These geese arefairly easy to breed. Use natural ground cover (close or open) for breeding. May lay in February, occasionally even January (B31); November to end of March (B29; they frequently re-lay if the clutch is removed. May be parent-reared.
  • This species rarely hybridises: a single case of breeding with Anser cygnoides - Swan goose has been reported.

(B29, B31, B96, B97)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme suggested average closed ring size: R 16.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 22-28 inches, 56-71cm (B3, B1)
Adult weight General 1920-2215g (B1)
Male Average 2212g (B1); mean 4.7 lbs. (B8)
Female Average 1923g (B1); mean 4.2 lbs.
Newly-hatched weight Average 100g.
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Black.
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Dark brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Black
Eyes (Iris) Dark brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Black with reduced webbing on feet.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Black with reduced webbing on feet.

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Plumage

Adult Male Throat, face, crown and hindneck black. Sides of head and rest of neck yellow-buff with deep furrows appearing as dark stripes. Blackish ring at base of neck.

Breast pale brown, abdomen and flanks greyish with brown markings on the flanks, upperparts dark brown with buff feather edges. Tail and rump black with ventral area and tail-coverts white.

Wing coverts brown, flight feathers olive brown.

Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Generally duller and more mottled, with head and neck greyish black not yellow-buff.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Dark grey-brown. Head and neck pale with dark crown, nape, irregular eye-stripe and 'ear' spot.
Bill: Black.
Feet: Black.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins October/November.
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground between lava slabs, a depression with or without a fringe of vegetation; down lining.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 4-5 (B3).
Range 3-5 (B1); 3-6 (B8)
Egg Description White. Size: approximately 83 x 56mm, weight: about 150g (range 120-180g) (B3)

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Incubation

29-31 (usually 30) days (B43); 29-30 days (B8)

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

About 10-12 weeks (B1); 70-84 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Two to three years old.
Females Two to three years old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Grazers.
Newly-hatched Grazers.

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Return to same area, and to same site if the eggs hatched successfully the previous year. Built by female.
Incubation By female, with male guarding from a nearby vantage point.
Newly-hatched Guarded and led to feeding areas by both parents.
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Territorial in breeding season. Outside breeding season, form small flocks of pairs and families, moving daily between roost and feeding area.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Strong permanent pair bonds.

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Predation in Wild

Indian mongoose (introduced to control introduced rats)

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Activity Patterns

Feed mainly in early morning and late afternoon, resting at midday in shaded areas.
Circadian Diurnal.

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Natural Diet

Adults

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Newly-hatched

Similar to adult.

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal

Hawaii.

Sedentary, only local movements.

Occasional and Accidental

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Introduced

Introduced (possibly reintroduced) Maui Island.

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Habitat

On lava flows, poorly vegetated volcanic slopes and grasslands when available.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Endangered. Low numbers, perhaps 800-900 birds (B1, B8, B44.9.w1).

CITES listing CITES I (B1).
Red-data book listing Vulnerable (W2).
Threats Loss of habitat, effects of introduced species. (B1, B8, B44.9.w1).

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Captive Populations

Quite numerous in collections (B8).

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Trade

 

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