Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Orinoco goose

Neochen jubata

Orinocogans / Orinokogans / Oie d'Orénoque

 

The Orinoco goose (Neochen jubata) is in the subfamily Tadorninae, and is the only living member of the genus Neochen. The Orinoco goose has been proposed as a possible link between the typical shelducks (Tadorna) and the sheldgeese (Chloephaga), but this remains to be proven.

The Orinoco goose is a very territorial species in the breeding season, and usually nests in hollow trees, only occasionally on the ground. The male has a high pitched whistling call, and the female cackles like the related Egyptian goose.

 

It is widespread, though spottily distributed, in South America, east of the Andes from Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas through Amazonian Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay to extreme Argentina (Salta). It inhabits forest-covered banks of tropical rivers and damp clearings, wet savannas and muddy and sandy margins of large freshwater wetlands, from lowlands to 500 m (Carboneras 1992a), occasionally to 2,600 m (Hilty and Brown 1986).

 

This species is classified as Near Threatened (IUCN, 2011) because it is continuing to undergo a moderately rapid population reduction owing to hunting pressure and habitat loss. It is still locally common in certain areas and, with proper protection, would be much more abundant over its wide range.

The global population has been estimated to number 10,000-25,000 mature individuals based on the result of discussions on BirdLife's Globally Threatened Birds Forum.

 

Orinoco goose nestbox project

The deforestation taking place in Venezuela is increasing the difficulty for the Orinoco geese to breed and get their broods to the safety of water.

Since the birds are cavity nesters the idea of putting up nesting boxes close to the water similar to the wood duck nest box program seemed like a good project. The International Wild Waterfowl Association (IWWA) approved funding to have the nest boxes built and installed as a pilot project.

You can read more here: http://shwpark.com/orinoco-goose-nestbox-project.html 

 

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Above: adult pair of Orinoco geese

 

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Above: adult male Orinoco goose

 

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Above: close-up of an adult male Orinoco goose.

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