Cape Barren Goose

ANIMAL:
Cape Barren Goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae

Type of Animal:
Goose

Habitat:
Offshore islands, pastures, grasslands, low heath scrub, wetlands & edges/fringes, grassy areas, bushes, beaches, lagoons (including brackish ones), shores of freshwater lakes, Mediterranean scrub, Mediterranean woodland/forest, coasts, saltmarshes

Location(s):
Coastal southern Australia, islands off southern Australia, N & E Tasmania. Introduced in parts of South Island of New Zealand

Appearance:
Grey plumage w/ some rounded black spots, blackish tail/flight feathers, pink legs, black feet, black bill, robust build, yellowish-green beak

Food/Diet:
Grasses, herbs, succulents, grains, clovers, legumes, leaves, seeds, stems, sedges, greens

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks

Lifestyle:
Flocks can have 2-70 birds. In breeding season, monogamous pairs nest solitarily or in loose colonies of up to 20 monogamous pairs. Younger birds often form flocks of their own.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Gander
Female: Goose
Young: Gosling
Group: Flock/Gaggle
 
Weight:
Male: 11.68 lbs
Female: 8.378 lbs
 
Gestation:
5 weeks 

Life Span:
17 years in wild, 20-28 years in captivity

Height:
Male: 2.79 ft
Female: 2.78 ft

Body Length:
Male: 3.28-4.5 ft
Female: 2.46-2.79 ft

Tail Length:
0.99 in, same for both sexes

Main predators are foxes, owls, & cats.
 
Named for Cape Barren Island in Bass Strait off E coast of Tasmania where 1st sighted by European explorers.
 
Dispute over whether more related to true geese & swans in subfamily Anserinae or shelduck-sheldgeese subfamily Tadorninae.
 
In 1950s, they were nearly extinct due to hunting. Now these geese number in hundreds of thousands throughout range & can even be legally hunted
 
Usually breed in May-June, w/ female laying 3-7 eggs.
 
Goslings stay w/ parents for around 4 months & then join flocks w/ other immature birds & nonbreeders.
 
Sexually mature at 2 years old.
 
Molt once a year, shedding flight/tail feathers making way for new growth which will grow month & a half later.
 
Parents introduce goslings to open water within 24 hours after hatching.
 
Males have wingspan of 6.25 ft, females around 4.92 ft.

Fun Fact(s):
Once considered to be immature phase of Black Swan.
 
During breeding/nesting season, these birds highly aggressive even attacking humans & dogs.
 
Besides living in areas that have salt/brackish water nearby, they can even drink it.
 
Produces sounds similar to grunting pig.
 
In 1950s, they were nearly extinct due to hunting. Now these geese number at around 100,000 throughout range & can even be legally hunted in Tasmania.

3 thoughts on “Cape Barren Goose

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