African Pygmy Goose

African Pygmy Goose

Scientific Classification

Common Name
African pygmy goose
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus Species
Nettapus auritus

Fast Facts

Description
This is a small species of goose with a white face, green ear patches and metallic green on the back.
Size
About 75 cm (30 in.)
Weight
Approximately 285 g (0.875 oz.)
Diet
Their diet consists primarily of water lilly seeds (Nymphaea spp.) although the seeds and vegetative parts of other aquatic plants, aquatic insects and small fish may also be taken.
Incubation
Approximately 23 days
Clutch Size
6 to 12 eggs
Fledging Duration
Approximately 50 days
Sexual Maturity
About 2 years
Life Span
10 to 15 years
Range
The African Pygmy Goose has any extremely large range and can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. They may also found in Madagascar.
Habitat
Inhabits permanent or temporary swamps, marshes, inland deltas (e.g. the Okavango), shallow lakes, pools, farm impoundments, flood-plains, slow-flowing rivers, and occasionally coastal lagoons.
This species shows a preference for deep clear waters with abundant emergent and aquatic vegetation, especially water-lilies (Nymphaea spp.).
Population
Global: The total population is unknown due to its extensive range. This species appears to be declining but their population is not severely fragmented.
Status 
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendex III
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

Unlike many waterfowl, this goose can perch on tree branches and nest in high places.

The African Pygmy Goose is somewhat nomadic or partially migratory, making local dry-season movements dictated by habitat and water availability.


Ecology and Conservation

The African Pygmy Goose is threatened by habitat degradation such as the destruction of aquatic plant communities through the introduction of exotic fish (e.g. cichlids Tilapia spp.), siltation, herbicides and wetlands drainage.

This species has declined is Madagascar as a result of hunting.


Bibliography

Scott, P. A Colored Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.

BirdLife International. 2016. Nettapus auritus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680095A92842795. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22680095A92842795.en. Downloaded on 05 November 2018.