Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Spur-winged goose

Plectropterus gambensis

Spoorwiekgans / Sporengans / Oie de Gambie

 

This species has an extremely large range, 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). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not 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 (IUCN, 2009).

 

The species is threatened by uncontrolled hunting (declines in Botswana have been attributed to hunting outside of protected areas) (Hockey et al. 2005). The species is hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria (Nikolaus 2001).

 

Spur-winged geese are rather rare in captivity, but can be found in both private collections and zoos at most continents. These geese are very sensitive to cold weather, especially their feet, which means they should be kept inside a heated shelter during freezing days.

 

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Above: Plectropterus gambensis gambensis, Northern (Gambian) Spur-winged goose (male)

Photo taken at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, North Carolina, USA (by Jan Harteman)

 

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Above: Plectropterus gambensis gambensis, Northern Spur-winged goose (female)

Photo taken at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, North Carolina, USA (by Jan Harteman)

 

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Above: Plectropterus gambensis niger, Black (Southern) Spur-winged geese (male)

Photo taken at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, North Carolina, USA (by Jan Harteman)

 

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Above: Plectropterus gambensis niger, Black (Southern) Spur-winged geese (female)

Photo taken at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, North Carolina, USA (by Jan Harteman)

 

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Above: Northern Spur-winged goose flying above the Gambia river (by Jan Harteman)

 

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Above: Northern Spur-winged goose at São Paulo Zoo, Brazilb (by Jan Harteman)

 

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Above: Northern Spur-winged goose at São Paulo Zoo, Brazil (by Jan Harteman)

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