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Cotton pygmy goose/ Indian pygmy goose

Nettapus coromandelianus

Indische pygmeegans (Coromandel eend)

Indische Zwergglanzente / Anserelle de Coromandel

Like the African pygmy goose, the Cotton pygmy goose is one of the smallest species of wildfowl. 


The cotton pygmy goose (Nettapus coromandelianus), also known as Indian pygmy goose or cotton teal, is a small perching duck which breeds in PakistanIndia,Bangladesh, southeast Asia and south to northern AustraliaSmall individuals of this species are the smallest waterfowl on earth, at as little as 160 g (5.6 oz) and 26 cm (10 in). White predominates in this bird's plumage. Bill short, deep at base, and goose-like.


Found on all still freshwater lakes (jheels), rain-filled ditches, inundated paddy fields, irrigation tanks, etc. Becomes very tame on village tanks wherever it is unmolested and has become inured to human proximity. Swift on the wing, and can dive creditably on occasion. Found in ponds and lakes in southern Pakistan.

Its food is chiefly seeds and vegetable matter, especially water lilies; also insects, crustaceans, etc.

The nesting season is July to September (SW. monsoon).Its nest is a natural hollow in a tree-trunk standing in or near water, sometimes lined with grass, rubbish and feathers. It lays 6 to 12 eggs, which are ivory white.


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 fluctuating, 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 (2012).

The global population is estimated to number c.130,000-1,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while the population in China has been estimated at <c.100 breeding pairs (IUCN, 2009). 


Cotton pygmy geese are not bred very often in captivity, but experience has been achieved in both European and American avicultural collections and zoos.


Cotton pygmy goose 

Above: adult male Indian pygmy goose


Cotton pygmy goose 

Above: Female (left) en male (right)


Cotton pygmy goose 

Above: juvenile pygmy geese


Cotton pygmy goose

Above: a male and two females



Above: adult pair of Indian pygmy geese



Above: adult pair (male in center).



Above: adult female Indian pygmy goose



Above: two pairs of Indian pygmy geese



Above: adult male Indian pygmy goose



Above: adult male Cotton pygmy goose, at Vogelpark Avifauna. Photo by Simon van der Luit



Above: adult Cotton pygmy geese, at Vogelpark Avifauna. Photo by Simon van der Luit


Above: Indian pygmy geese at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, February 2016

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