Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

African pygmy goose

Nettapus auritus

Afrikaanse pygmeegans (Afrikaanse dwergeend)

Afrikanische Zwergglanzente / Anserelle d'Afrique

One of the smallest species of wildfowl is the African pygmy goose. Its natural habitat is in terrestrial enviroment, where it occurs in freshwater wetlands, such as marshes, lakes, rivers and creeks. The African pygmy goose is known to be nomadic. It can be found across a wide area of sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers inland wetlands with vegetation such as water lilies. It sometimes occupies open swamps, farm dens, river pools, and estuaries.

 

This species has an extremely large range in Africa, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern (2012).

The species has declined is Madagascar as a result of hunting (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It is also threatened by habitat degradation such as the destruction of aquatic plant communities through the introduction of exotic fish (e.g. cichlids Tilapia spp.), siltation, pollution (e.g. herbicides), drainage and tourist water-sports (which destroy lily beds) (Kear 2005b).

 

Pygmy geese are not bred very often in captivity, but the population is increasing. There is a self-sustainable population in both North-American and European avicultural collections.

 

African pygmy goose 

Above: adult male

 

African pygmy goose 

Above: adult male

 

African pygmy goose

Above: adult pair, male in front.

 

African pygmy goose 

Above: adult male in the Gambia

 

African pygmy goose 

Above: adult female in the Gambia

 

African pygmy goose 

Above: adult male

 

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Above: adult pair of African pygmy geese. Photo by Simon van der Luit

 

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Above: African pygmy geese with offspring, at Vogelpark Avifauna. Photo by Simon van der Luit.

 

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Above: adult female and offspring at Vogelpark Avifauna. Photo by Simon van der Luit

 

Above: ducklings leaving their nest in aviculture

 

 


 

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