The Nene, also known as Nēnē and Hawaiian Goose, (Branta sandvicensis) is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the Nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi.
The Nene is a medium-sized goose at 41 centimetres tall. Although they spend most of their time on the ground, they are capable of flight, with some individuals flying daily between nesting and feeding areas. Females have a mass of 1.5–2.5 kilograms, while males average 1.6–3 kilograms, 11% larger than females. Adult males have a black head and hindneck, buff cheeks and heavily furrowed neck. The neck has black and white diagonal stripes. Aside from being smaller, the female Nene is similar to the male in colouration.
The breeding season of the Nene, from August to April, is longer than that of any other goose; most eggs are laid between November and January. Unlike most other waterfowl, the Nene mates on land. Nests are built by females on a site of their choosing, in which one to five eggs are laid. Females incubate the eggs for 29 to 32 days, while the male acts as a sentry. Goslings are precocial, able to feed on their own; they remain with their parents until the following breeding season.
The Nene is the world's rarest goose. It is believed that it once was common, with approximately 25,000 Hawaiian Geese living in Hawaiʻi when Captain James Cook arrived in 1778. However, hunting and introduced predators, such as Small Asian Mongooses, pigs, and cats, reduced the population to 30 birds by 1952.
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