Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis)

Birds of North America No. 434
By: , and 



Evolving in the remote Hawaiian Archipelago and having the smallest range of any living goose, the Hawaiian Goose, or better known by its Hawaiian name—Nënë, is among the most isolated, sedentary, and threatened of waterfowl. The Nënë is also highly terrestrial, and several structural features demonstrate its adaptation to life on islands with limited freshwater habitat: It stands taller and more upright than geese of similar weight, enabling it to reach high to browse the fruits, seeds, and foliage that constitute its herbivorous diet; its legs and padded toes are long and strong, promoting swift, sure walking and running over rugged terrain; webbing is reduced between the toes; and though it is a capable swimmer and readily uses freshwater habitats when available, the Nënë does not require freshwater or oceanic habitats in the same way that many other waterfowl do.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Title Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis)
Series title Birds of North America
Series number No. 434
DOI 10.2173/bna.434
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher The Academy of Natural Sciences
Publisher location Philadelphia, PA and Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
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