|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis)|
Its extremely restricted range (the smallest of any living goose) and remarkably furrowed neck plumage make this goose unmistakable. It is of small stature with heavily barred plumage and the sexes look alike. It does not tend to associate with other geese. It is one of the few species that actually evolved in Hawaii and differs from true geese by having longer legs, reduced webbing between its toes, and a more erect posture - all presumably adaptations to a more terrestrial lifestyle. In addition, it has much smaller wings than those of its closest relative, the Canada Goose. Its calls are similar to those of the Canada Goose.
The Hawaiian Goose, or Nene to give it the Polynesian name, represents WWT's greatest conservation success story. Sometimes known as Lava Geese, they are the only waterfowl adapted for life on lava flows.
An estimated 25,000 Nenes used to inhabit the Hawaiian islands, but following the arrival of Europeans in 1778 their numbers immediately began to decline. As with many island endemics, their approachable nature proved to be their downfall. Mule loads of geese were killed and transported by clipper ships to California to feed the Forty-niners, while some were salted down and used for food on whaling ships.
The introduction of the mongoose in 1883 then seemed to seal their fate as it prayed voraciously on eggs, chicks and adults alike.
By 1907 the Nene was recognised as a protected species, but this seemed too little too late and only 20 or 30 birds survived by 1949. Luckily though, a few birds were taken into captivity by Herbert Shipman, three of which were sent to Slimbridge in 1950.
A major re-introduction programme then began and by 1992 over 2200 Nene had been released into the wild, including 200 supplied by WWT between 1962 and 1969.
Although this release programme probably saved the Nene from extinction, when releases were reduced in the 1970s the population declined sharply from over 875 birds in 1977 to about 400 in 1980 suggesting that releases had kept the population artificially high. Further work was clearly needed to identify and remedy the causes for the Nene's decline.
Between 1980 and 1989, various research and conservation initiatives in Hawaii, including work by WWT, eventually culminated in the Nene Recovery Initiative, a five year research programme implemented by the Nene Recovery Action Group (with members from the Hawaiian Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawaiian National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, University of North Dakota, Smithsonian Institute and WWT).
Photographed at the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust in Arundel. Most of the information supplied from the WWT Website.
sAner, carper, PDP, mogens-j, marhowie, elroyie, sergegagne, scottevers7, ellis49, Runnerduck, gerhardt, sandpiper2 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
- [2005-03-13 14:15]
It's a good head michael,
The details are nice the point of view is nice and the details are super, the pof is very good, Very good job
- [2005-03-13 15:08]
Joli profil aux couleurs bien contrastées!
- [2005-03-13 15:25]
Hi Michael, I've seen some of these and they look like they have stunted growth in their beaks. Lovely cute specimens, it's a very nice portrait with good colours and details. Nice work.
Excellent capture Michael. Fantastic colours and detailsin that plumage and the non excisting background is perfect. Very good composition too. A very pleasant picture to look at. Very good and informative note but the smallest goos how big/small is actually?
It looks great, sharp and very crisp image with great colours.
Very good note as well.
Beautiful shot, Michael. I just love the details, colors and POV/close-up. TFS.
Great capture of this Nene. I just spent two weeks in hawaii, but never got this close to one while I was in the lava hiking the volcanos. Excellent color and razaor sharp detail. Nice Work! and very informative notes.
Another beautiful duck Michael.
Never seen this before.
Great colours, nice POV and good details.
Very well done.
Very nice Michael. Great details & colors with an excellent note Thanx!
Amazing, I've never seen this before, her colours are amazing.
An amzing capture. Incredibly sharp, perfect composition and background.
Nicely positioned within the frame. Focus is spot on, very nice Michael.
Nice portrait, it would need a bit more contrast IMO.
- [2005-03-15 3:39]
Lovely closeup! Good colors, great POV & DOF. Good composition. Razorsharp details. Well done!
I have a photo of this critter but could never ID it before. TFS. It's a smashing portriat. Tack sharp, well composed and the exposure of the blacks perfect. Well done.
Good close-up, lots of plumage detail, well done.