Nēnē

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Hawaiian Goose
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Branta
Species: B. sandvicensis
Binomial name
Branta sandvicensis
(Vigors, 1833)

The Nēnē, or Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis) is a species of goose. It is found today on only three Hawaiian islands.[1] It gets its name from its soft call.

This is an unmistakable species, with its generally brown plumage (feathers) and darker head. Its strong toes have much reduced webbing (skin between the toes), an adjustment to the lava flows on which it breeds.[2] The Nēnē goes about on land much more than other water birds. When moulting (dropping old feathers and growing new ones), the Nēnē cannot fly, as do other geese, a factor which made it vulnerable to hunting.

The Nēnē was once among the most threatened waterfowl species around the world.[3] Once common, hunting and predators brought to the islands such as mongooses, pigs and cats reduced the population to only 30 birds in the 1950s.[1] However, this species breeds well in captivity (zoos and bird parks), and has been successfully re-introduced. There are also good numbers in wild bird collections.

The Nēnē is the state bird of Hawaii.[2]

References[change | edit source]