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Hawaiian goose

Branta sandvicensis

Nene at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae

Also known as the nene, it’s probably no surprise that the Hawaiian goose is native to the islands of Hawaii! They inhabit a range of habitats such as grasslands, scrub forests and even volcanic slopes.

These geese are herbivores and only forage on land. They eat leaves, grasses, berries, flowers and seeds.

Interesting facts!

  • Said to be the rarest goose in the world, the Hawaiian goose has been Hawaii’s official state bird since 1957.
  • Hawaiian geese sleep on the ground with their feet tucked under their bodies.
  • After forming a lifelong pair bond, the geese will mate and nest in the same site that is usually used year on year. Two to five eggs are laid, which are then incubated by the female for around a month until the goslings hatch.


It is estimated that there are no more than 2,500 Hawaiian geese left in the wild today. Their main threat is a lack of a suitable habitat, as well as feral cats and dogs which prey on their eggs and introduced species such as mongooses.