By Janet Kear, A. J. Berger

Dr Janet Kear, Assistant Director of the Wildfowl belief and Curator of its Martin Mere Reserve, and Professor Andrew Berger of the collage of Hawaii, have written a well timed and soaking up account of the hot historical past of the Hawaiian Goose, or Nene, its descent to close extinction, its 11th hour rescue and present recovery to the wild. The species declined from an expected inhabitants of 25,000 in Hawaii within the 18th century to under fifty birds within the Forties. at the present time, thank you principally to the prolonged breeding programmes at Slimbridge and Pohakuloa, there are likely greater than 2000 Hawaiian ducks on the earth. The success is justly applauded and famous, yet even if this notable scan in conservation has been actually profitable are not transparent till it turns into obtrusive that the published birds can keep a breeding inhabitants within the wild. because the authors clarify, the end result is much from predictable. The explanations which ended in the species' decline and the risks and problems confronted by means of the reintroduced inhabitants are mentioned at size, however the center of the e-book is the propagation programmes at Slimbridge and Pohakuloa, and the issues and successes they introduced in the course of decades of sufferer paintings. For the conservationist and aviculturalist the debts of captive breeding lower than headings similar to infertility, vitamin, toughness, mortality and the consequences of foster moms, geographical range and genetic pressure, might be crucial examining. safely, Sir Peter Scott, whose imterest and involvement within the rescue of the Hawaiian Goose was once of major value, is likely one of the artists whose drawings complement the textual content. there's additionally a color frontispiece and 24 monochrome plates.

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Extra resources for Hawaiian Goose (Poyser Monographs)

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A particularly angry Nene uses a threat display in which the head is thrust, usually close to ground level, towards the enemy. This posture is much like the head-forward threat of the Canada Goose, and is almost always accompanied by calling with the mouth open and sometimes with the tongue raised (Plate 7). The pale neck plumage is not vibrated by an extremely aggressive goose, but some of the dark feathers on the back are raised, presumably to accentuate the birds' size. Courtship, which results in the establishment of a pair-bond that tends to be life-long, takes place in the second year.

STRUCTURAL ADAPTATIONS The Nene is taller and more upright than other geese of similar weight, and has a slightly longer, down-turned bill (Figures 4 and 11), longer legs and shorter wings (Table 1). The striking differences between the Nene and other geese are due to the species' modification for an island habitat. Its continental relatives spend much of their time grazing and swimming. There is little standing water or natural grassland in Hawaii, and specialisation in the Nene (which has, as already pointed out, a smaller range The Hawaiian Goose or Nene 39 TABLE 1 Average measurements of adult Nene at Slimbridge (see Appendices 2 and 3 for details) Weight Head (bill tip to back of head) Bill (tip to hairline) Leg length Wing length Males Females 2165 g (4 Ib 13 oz) 1930 g (4 Ib 4 oz) 94 mm (3-7 in) 39mm (1-5 in) 85 mm (3-4 in) 378 mm (14 »9 in) 89 mm (3-5 37 mm (1-5 78 mm (3-1 361 mm (14-2 in) in) in) in) than any other goose) has been towards a non-aquatic habit and to a feeding technique of standing upright while browsing on herbs and shrubs rather than reaching down to graze at the level of the feet.

7, Nene range prior to 1900 and after 1900, Reprinted, by permission, from Baldwin, 1945 (13), Hawaiian, if not world, species facing imminent extinction. To permit this tragedy to occur without exerting more effort than has been to date is unpardonable,' Moreover, by 1951, the total wild population was estimated by J. Donald Smith (120) to be no more than 30 birds. He wrote: 'Time for the Hawaiian Goose seems to be rapidly running out. It is appropriate, therefore, to emphasize that the Hawaiian Goose population today is even less than it was in 1944 and in 1947 when Baldwin and the Schwartzes made their field studies.

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