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40 Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose (a.ok.a. Nene Goose)

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40 Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose – To grasp why the Hawaiian goose (a.ok.a. Nene goose) is so endangered, first it’s essential to perceive the unimaginable uniqueness of its native habitat.

Positioned out in the course of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian archipelago was created by lively volcanoes, a lot of which nonetheless erupt and ooze lava at this time.

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40 Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Hawaii (spelled Hawai’i by the indigenous natives) is the one state within the U.S. that’s nonetheless regularly including landmass. It’s additionally the one state not situated on the North American continent, the one state surrounded by water, and the union’s youngest member. Hawaii consists of eight foremost islands, that are denoted by the eight horizontal stripes on its state flag.

Most notably for the needs of this story, Hawaii is loopy distant. It’s over 2,250 miles to the closest landmass (False Go, Alaska). Because of this, a lot of the wildlife in Hawaii is endemic, which means it’s solely present in that space. Sadly, this makes just about all Hawaiian animals extra prone to extinction.

Hawaii has already misplaced extra species (and at present has extra endangered species) than every other state within the USA. Although Hawaii accounts for lower than 0.25% of the nation’s complete land mass, over 25% of all endangered species within the US are native to the state. That’s why the islands are generally known as “the endangered species capital of the world.”

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

There are solely two forms of mammals native to the islands, the hoary bat and monk seal, each of that are endangered. Two forms of endemic softshell turtles, the Chinese language and Wattle-necked turtle, are additionally endangered. A number of fish species (a few of that are unique to the waters across the islands) are endangered. Nearly all the islands’ 40+ species of native birds are nearing extinction.

One of the well-known of those is the distinctive and attention-grabbing Hawaiian goose, which is usually recognized domestically because of the Nene. That’s the one we’ll be specializing in now, as a result of this stunning water hen has an important story to inform.

READ MORE: Fascinating Facts About the Hawaiian Monk Seal

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose


Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

  1. General Hawaiian Goose Facts
  2. Facts about Nene Goose Bodies
  3. Facts about Nene Behaviors
  4. Hawaiian Goose Breeding & Mating
  5. Why Are Hawaiian Geese Endangered?
  6. Conservation Efforts with Hawaiian Geese
  7. Why Saving Hawaiian Geese Is Important

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by Jörg Hempel courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Common Hawaiian Goose Information

1) The official scientific identify of the Hawaiian goose is Branta sandvicensus. “Branta” is Latin for the goose and “sandvicensus” for the Sandwich Islands (which is what Capt. James Cook dinner known as the islands of Hawai’i).

2) Domestically, the hen is usually known as the nene or nēnē, pronounced nay-nay. This identity is derived from the decision the Hawaiian goose makes. Apart from the nay-nay name the hen usually makes in flight or as a warning when approached, it additionally moos like a cow and honks like Canada geese.

3) The Hawaiian goose is endemic and unique to the Hawaiian Islands. They had been as soon as discovered within the wild on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Hawaii. Nonetheless, solely three Hawaiian Islands now have populations: Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. On Hawaii, wild nene will be seen in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa, and Pu’u Wa’awa’a. Haleakala Nationwide Park is the one location on Maui, and the Kilauea Nationwide Wildlife Refuge and outdoors Lihue Airport are the one-two spots on Kauai.

4) The Hawaiian goose is the official state hen of Hawaii. It was named so in 1957. Amongst Hawaii’s different state animals, the state fish is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, and the state insect is the pulelehua, a kind of butterfly.

5) Although it’s intently associated with the Canada goose, the Hawaiian goose is the one species of goose that isn’t present in continental areas. Some scientists imagine that the nene could have developed from Canada geese that took a mistaken flip throughout migration about half 1,000,000 years in the past. They will need to have appreciated the climate and surroundings in Hawai’i, as a result of they nonetheless haven’t flown again house.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

6) Sadly, the Hawaiian goose is the one endemic goose species left in Hawaii. All eight different species have gone extinct. The truth is, at the very least 32 totally different species of birds have gone extinct in Hawaii since 1778, and greater than which might be at present on the endangered checklist.

7) There was as soon as a species of Large Hawaiian goose, or nēnē-Nui (Branta hylobadistes), that didn’t survive. The large hen was practically 4 ft tall and weighed just below 20 kilos. That’s three to 4 occasions as huge as at this time’s Hawaiian goose!

8) At present, the nene is the world’s rarest goose. Its complete inhabitants were estimated at around 25,000 birds earlier than Captain James Cook dinner “found” Hawaii within the 1770s. However by the mid-1900s solely about 30 had been left, all of which had been on the “Huge Island” of Hawaii.  The Hawaiian goose was lastly declared endangered in 1967, and so they stay protected at this time.

READ MORE: Top 10 Things to Do on Hawaii (a.k.a. Big Island)

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by Mark Goebel courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Information about Nene Goose Our bodies

9) Nene geese are considerably smaller than Canadian geese. They stand about 16 inches tall and roughly two ft lengthy. They will weigh wherever from 3.5 to six.5 kilos, with the males tending to be a little bit bigger than females. In distinction, Canada geese can rise up to 4 ft lengthy and 14 kilos.

10) The coloring of the nene could be very distinctive. They’ve black faces, caps, and hindnecks. The cheeks are buff, and the invoice, legs, and ft are black. Their feathers are a sample of gray, brown and white, and so they have a tuft of soppy feathers underneath their chins. Their necks are deeply furrowed and have black and white diagonal stripes, which is attributable to traces of white feathers atop black pores and skin.

11) As is true with all geese, the Hawaiian goose is monomorphic. Which means that each the women and men looks principally the identical (versus different hen species, the place males have extra brilliantly colored plumage to draw their mates). Their goslings look barely totally different than adults– usually an uninteresting brown with much less distinctness between colors.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

12) One actually attention-grabbing evolutionary tidbit in regards to the Hawaiian goose is that their ft aren’t fully webbed, not like all different geese. The evolution of longer toes helps them transfer round on the rugged, rocky terrain of Hawaii’s lava fields, which they have a tendency to frequent greater than ponds or lakes. Their ft even have further padding to assist with this.

13) Hawaiian geese can dwell a really very long time for birds. In captivity, they have a possible lifespan of as much as 24 years. The hard-knock life within the wild reduces their most life expectancy by just a few years, to round 20. That being stated, most wild nenes solely dwell a median of eight years, which is lower than half of their potential lifespan.

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Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by US Wildlife and Fishery Companies courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Information about Nene Behaviors

14) Although Hawaiian geese are able to fly, for essentially the most half they spend their time on the bottom. They’ve flown from one facet of the Huge Island to the opposite, crossing over 4,000 sq. miles. Nonetheless, this isn’t typical. Some nenes fly between nesting areas within the lowlands and feeding areas in montane areas, however, they typically aren’t huge vacationers.

15) The Hawaiian goose is an herbivore, with an eating regimen based mostly on grazing on grasslands and shopping in shrubs. They’ve at the very least partially tailored to the presence of people and are notably eager to graze on golf programs. They’re additionally recognized to observe farmed cattle with a view to feeding on the younger grass shoots which might be left behind. They eat leaves, grass, shrubs, fruit, and flowers.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

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16) Amazingly, these geese don’t require a lot in the way in which of recent water as a result of they’ve tailored in order that grasses and berries provide most of their hydration wants. That being stated, in the event that they’re given water, resembling they’re in captivity, they are going to, fortunately, drink it.

17) Hawaiian nēnēs will be discovered wherever from sea degree to eight,000 ft in elevation. They prefer to inhabit grasslands and shrublands, in addition to coastal areas and lava plains with vegetation. They’re additionally keen on golf programs and pastures, the place recent grass shoots are plentiful. They prefer to nest on the slopes of volcanoes, typically beneath shrubs surrounded by barren lava. These areas are known as kipuka.

18) In 2012 on the island of Kauai, wild Hawaiian geese brought about severe problems at the Lihue Airport as a result of they appreciated to hang around on the golf course subsequent door. The Division of Transportation was spending a number of hundred hundreds of {dollars} every year to chase them out of flight paths. Officers finally budgeted practically 5 million {dollars} to maneuver them elsewhere.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

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19) Although they’re thought-about waterfowl, Hawaiian geese hardly ever swim. Not like different geese, they don’t even want open water to outlive. They do, nonetheless, appear to love taking a dip in a cool spring every time the chance presents itself.

20) Hawaiian geese are actually odd birds: Not like most geese, they aren’t migratory. They usually solely transfer throughout the island boundaries of the place they dwell. So nenes from the island of Hawaii don’t fly to Maui or Kauai, and vice versa. This uncommon quirk has but to be defined by science.

READ MORE: 60 Weird Animals Around the World

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by Beverley Goodwin courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Hawaiian Goose Breeding & Mating

21) Typically, younger Hawaiian geese attain reproductive age at around three years outdated, although they’ve generally matured as early as two years. Right now, males will courtroom females, however, females will make the last word determination as to who might be her mate.

22) Nēnēshave the longest breeding season of all wild geese. They mate at any time between August and June (or primarily all yr). However, November, December, and January are the prime mating season.

23) A mated Hawaiian goose and gender will stay monogamous, staying collectively till one mate dies. Surviving spouses will typically discover a new mate when widowed. On uncommon events, mated {couples} will separate if their breeding seasons haven’t produced offspring. That is additionally true for many species of geese and swans. However, geese are extra into seasonal swinging, going regularly for just one mating season at a time.

24) Not like different water birds, Hawaiian geese often mate on land. Different small geese can do the identical, however, by and huge, geese usually choose to mate on the water.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

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25) Feminine nenes select their nesting websites and put together them alone. The nests are sometimes constructed in hollows on the bottom, the place they’re hidden by vegetation. A kipuka– a rogue little bit of shrubbery inside a desolate lava subject– is a favorite nesting spot for Hawaiian geese. These nests are lined with down and reused every season.

26) A Hawaiian goose usually lays between one and 5 eggs. The common is often about three, although the geese on Kauai are vulnerable to having 4 eggs in a clutch. The feminine incubates them alone, which takes roughly a month.

27) Although hatchlings can go away the nest inside hours of hatching, they can not fly till about three months later. This makes them susceptible to predators, so the younger usually stick with their dad and mom till the following breeding season. Usually, the household will stay on the safer breeding grounds for just a few months earlier than transferring off to raised feeding areas.

READ MORE: Hawaiian Mythology (Hawaiian Gods & Goddesses)

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by Phil Whitehouse courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Why Are Hawaiian Geese Endangered?

28) The populations of Hawaiian geese (and numerous different endangered animals) started to severely decline with the rise of European colonialism. They had been hunted relentlessly for meals and feathers. And their habitat was destroyed by the event of intrusive agricultural programs.

29) The introduction of the small Indian mongoose in 1883 additional decimated the Hawaiian goose inhabitants. This was a try to manage the rats that thrived on the islands’ sugar cane plantations. Sadly, rats are nocturnal and mongooses are diurnal (i.e. function through the day), so the 2 species hardly ever crossed paths. As an alternative, the mongooses hunted all incarnations of the daytime-loving geese, together with adults, chicks, and unhatched eggs.

30) Including to the issue, different launched species– together with canines, cats, feral pigs, and rats– additionally turned predators of the nene in a single type or one other. In the meantime, domesticated livestock got favor for grazing habitat, which restricted the entry geese needed to their most popular meals sources.

31) Predatory animals made brief work of the geese as a result of they’d by no means wanted to defend their nests earlier than, on account of there being no pure predators on the islands. Feminine geese will truly go right into a hypnotic state when nesting, largely unaware of their environment, which makes them susceptible.

32) Mosquitoes created points for the Hawaiian goose as nicely. Mosquitoes unfold avian malaria amongst lots of the native birds in Hawaii. Avian malaria works a lot the identical method because the human form, which is attributable to single-celled protozoans transmitted through the chew of a contaminated mosquito. Nonetheless, there are various extra forms of mosquitoes that transmit avian malaria.

33) Inbreeding among the many diminished inhabitants of geese additionally brought about some issues. So did the lack of adaptive expertise that occurred within the captive breeding program, which was launched in an try and revives the inhabitants. Consequently, nearly all of the wild inhabitants don’t breed efficiently.

34) With the mongoose scenario remedied (i.e. killed and banned), the biggest risk to grownup Hawaiian geese at this time could also be vehicles. They’re often run over by dashing drivers, notably throughout peak breeding and molting season, when the nene are incapable of flight.

35) As a consequence of habitat loss and extreme ecosystem disturbances, it’s doubtless that the Hawaiian goose will all the time require some type of human administration with a view to survive.

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Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by distillated courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Hawaiian Goose Conservation

36) Regardless of their complete inhabitant’s numbers being calculated as little as 24 within the mid-1900s, it wasn’t till 1967 that Hawaii’s goose species was listed as endangered underneath the Federal Endangered Species Act. Fortunately, efforts to avoid wasting the nene had already begun a number of years previous to this itemizing.

37) Beginning within the 1950s, conservation applications in Hawaii and on the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve (in Slimbridge, England) had nice success breeding Hawaiian geese in captivity. Collectively, they launched over 2300 birds again into the wild. Sadly, as a result of the aforementioned predators, these preliminary repopulation efforts had been a failure.

38) There are nonetheless Hawaiian geese in England at this time. The unique captive breeding effort and reserve estuary on the east facet of the River Severn had been initiated by naturalist/artist Peter Scott. He based the Wildfowl and Wetlands Belief, whose 9 reserves defend over 7400 acres. In 2005, the WWT reintroduced the Laysan teal (some of the endangered geese on earth) to Hawaii.

39) Regardless of their problem with breeding within the wild, the nene goose inhabitants have been on a gradual rise for over 20 years. It at present sits at 2,500 to three,000 birds, with common additions launched from captivity. Latest repopulation efforts have had extra success as a result of their predators have been dramatically diminished.

40) In April of 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instructed transferring the Hawaiian goose from Endangered status to Threatened. After 51 years on the endangered species checklist, the inhabitants had stabilized to such an extent that the nene is “not in rapid hazard of extinction.”

Fortunately, this improved conservation standing will nonetheless include important efforts to guard these birds from habitat loss, invasive predators, and site visitors accidents.

READ MORE: Exploring the London Wetland Centre (England)

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian GooseFascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

Photograph by Matt MacGillivray courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

Why Saving Hawaiian Geese Is Essential

The restoration of the Hawaiian goose, whereas not but full, is a testimony to the truth that we CAN do one thing to assist the endangered species that stay.

It began with only a few involved individuals– nēnē goose appreciators– who noticed a troubling drawback and labored for many years to propel it. Alongside the way in which, they impressed others to assist save Hawaiian geese, which spawned many extra efforts to assist different endangered animals in Hawai’i. That, my buddies, is the facility of positivity!

The Wildlife and Wetland Belief of Britain was instrumental in restoring the Hawaiian goose inhabitants, spearheading this venture for over six a long time.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

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Island Conservation was based in 1994 and given worldwide non-profit standing in 1997. That group was instrumental in clearing the invasive predators from the Hawaiian Islands in order that the nene may return house safely. The Honolulu Zoo Society continues to breed Hawaiian geese in captivity, in addition to educating the general public about them and extra of Hawaii’s native wildlife.

At a time when negativity appears to dominate the information cycle, the Hawaiian goose restoration proves that after we do one thing benevolent, it will possibly have an optimistic impact. If sufficient individuals care about conservation– whether or not of an endangered species, a complete ecosystem, a historic website, or a standard tradition– it typically produces encouraging outcomes.

Dwindled animal populations can enhance (examine Mekong river dolphins in Cambodia). Rainforests are protected (see: Serranía del Chiribiquete Nationwide Park in Colombia). Indigenous individuals get an opportunity to revenue from tourism on their place of origin (resembling in Kenya’s Maasai Mara conservancies). If we as a society maintain working in direction of these optimistic objectives, we will attain them.

For those of us all for preserving the planet, these victories are each much-needed and massively inspirational. Each animal, forest, river, coral reef system, and indigenous culture performs an important function throughout the ecosystem by which they’re discovered. However no matter their location, they every have issues to show us all, and so they deserve our respect and safety.

Fascinating Information In regards to the Hawaiian Goose

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Thanks to that 40 information in regards to the Hawaiian goose, we now understand how particular these birds are. We all know that they’re distinctive amongst geese, however– like all geese– they lead lives dedicated to their mates and their offspring.

Nenes handle to outlive in some horribly inhospitable locations (see: barren lava fields), but they had been despatched to the brink of extinction on account of human carelessness and greed. We will do higher than that.

So, with that in thoughts, now is a superb time for all of us to begin getting behind these nice conservation causes. If we prioritize them, we may discover ourselves with a way more impressed and galvanizing world. Folks at this time can change into an optimistic a part of the planet’s future. Collectively, we will save the species. –Jonathon Engels, Featured Picture by Jason Crotty courtesy Flickr through CC 2.0

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