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< >  Chloephaga melanoptera - Andean goose (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)

Ouette des Andes (French)
Bernache des Andes (French)
Andengans (German)
Cauquén Guayata (Spanish)
Guayata (Spanish)
Ganso andino (Spanish)

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.

Aviculture references:
J23.13.w7
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40 B95, B97, B128.w1, B128.w2
D1, D8

Other References

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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:
  • Sheldgeese are generally hardy, and mostly aggressive particularly in the breeding season, so that pairs require a separate pen. A pen for a pair of these birds may be 80% grazing land to 20% water, with a minimum size of 200 square metres for the smaller species (e.g. Orinoco goose) and 300 square metres for the larger species.
  • Grazing birds, their grass (sward of less than 3 inches 7.5cm preferred) should be supplemented with wheat and pellets outside the breeding season and breeders pellets before and during the breeding season. Additional green food should be provided when there is insufficient grass.
  • Sheltered nest sites may be needed for species which nest early in the year. Ground-level nest boxes, open to the ground, 20x16x16 inches (50x40x40cm), with a ground level entrance hole and containing e.g. dry grass as nesting material.

(B7, B29, B40 B95, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Andean geese are generally hardy, but shelter from wind and rain should also be provided, particularly in cold wet conditions, and winter shelter with a straw bed may be advisable. Territorial and aggressive (very aggressive in the breeding season), the ganders may be aggressive to humans. A separate enclosure with good grazing, water and shade provided is required, particularly for breeding. Good grazing will provide most of their food, although mixed grains, carrots and a basic pellet should also be fed
  • This species is bred fairly readily - not by all collections, but regularly in some collections. They should be provided with close vegetation cover and kennels or wigwams for nesting, with nesting sites possibly sited within shelters for protection when nesting early in the year. Eggs are laid mainly end of March to May. Foster rearing with a broody hen has given good results.
  • These sheldgeese rarely hybridise, but hybrids have been reported with Chloephaga picta - Upland goose and Alopochen aegyptiacus - Egyptian goose.

(J23.13.w7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B97, B128.w2, D1).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size: R 16.0mm, some males T 20.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 29-32 inches, 75-80cm (B3); 70-80cm (B1).
Adult weight General 2730-3640g (B3, B1).
Male Mean 7.5 lbs. (B8).
Female Mean 6.2 lbs. (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Pink-red.
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Pink-red.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Deep orange.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Deep orange.

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Plumage

Adult Male Head, neck, breast, underparts and flanks white. Scapulars have black centres & white edges – upperparts white with black spots cranially (front) developing to black ‘cape’ caudally (rear). Tail black.

Wings have iridescent greater secondary coverts forming purple speculum, rest of wing coverts and secondaries white, primaries and tertials black.

Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Duller and greyer.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: White with central black cross: dorsal line from bill to tail and out onto wings, plus black on thighs. Also small black spot on yellowish face.
Bill: Black.
Feet: Black, beginning to turn red at three weeks old.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

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

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground in sparse vegetation, between rocks or in holes in banks. A shallow scrape or nest of vegetation.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 5-10 (B1); 6-10 (B8).
Egg Description Off-white. Size: 75 x 60 mm.

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Incubation

About 30 days (B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

About 90 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males At three years old.
Females At three years old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Grazing.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Nest as single pairs or in loose groups.
Incubation By female, with male guarding.
Newly-hatched Guarded by both parents.
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Form loose flocks in winter and also gather while moulting.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Strong permanent pair bonds.

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

Daylight feeders.
Circadian Diurnal.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Basically vegetarian: grasses, sedges and fleshy aquatic plants.

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal

Andes: central Peru to central Argentina.

Mainly sedentary, local movements from higher to lower altitudes.

Occasional and Accidental

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Introduced

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Habitat

Above 3300m, wetlands surrounded by grasslands and rough pasture. Lower altitudes in winter due to snow.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Not considered threatened. Widespread and common (B1, B8).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Well represented in collections (B8).

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Trade

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