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 new 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 envisioned inhabitants of 25,000 in Hawaii within the 18th century to below fifty birds within the Nineteen Forties. at the present time, thank you principally to the prolonged breeding programmes at Slimbridge and Pohakuloa, there are possibly greater than 2000 Hawaiian ducks on the earth. The fulfillment is justly applauded and famous, yet no matter if this outstanding scan in conservation has been actually profitable aren't transparent until eventually it turns into glaring that the published birds can hold a breeding inhabitants within the wild. because the authors clarify, the end result is way from predictable. The explanations which resulted in the species' decline and the risks and problems confronted by way of the reintroduced inhabitants are mentioned at size, however the center of the booklet is the propagation programmes at Slimbridge and Pohakuloa, and the issues and successes they introduced in the course of a long time of sufferer paintings. For the conservationist and aviculturalist the debts of captive breeding lower than headings resembling infertility, vitamin, durability, mortality and the consequences of foster moms, geographical range and genetic pressure, may be crucial interpreting. properly, Sir Peter Scott, whose imterest and involvement within the rescue of the Hawaiian Goose used to be of best significance, is among 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)
Photo: Philippa Scott. 13. Above: Female Nene with week-old goslings at Slimbridge. Photo: Philippa Scott. Right: Week-old Canada Goose gosling for comparison. Photo: The Wildfowl Trust. 14. Above: Wild Hawaiian Goose with six-week-old young. Photo; David Woodside. Below: Five-week-old goslings at Slimbridge with their moulting parents. Photo; J. B. Blossom. b 15. Adult and immature Nene ready for release into the wild. Pohakuloa, Hawaii, 16 March 1960. Photo: Hawaii Division of Fish & Game. 16.
VOICE All true geese are rather noisy, and the Nene has a varied vocabulary in which two types of call are obvious. A low murmuring 'Nay-nay' is given with the bill closed. This is the sound commonly heard throughout the year between contented pairs and feeding flocks, and it is presumably from this that the Hawaiian Goose derives its Polynesian name. As the breeding season approaches, sounds become louder and 35 36 The Hawaiian Goose or Nene Fig. 8. Tracing of sonagram comparison of call of adult Nene (left) with adult Atlantic Canada Goose (from Johnsgard (68)).
The mongoose neither solved the rat problem nor remained in the sugarcane fields. For many years now, the mongoose has been found over most of the islands of Hawaii and Maui, from sea level to tree line and in the very wet (7,620 mm of annual rainfall) and the very dry (less than 500 mm of rain per year) areas. The mongoose is a likely predator of any ground nesting bird. The precise role of feral cats and dogs as predators on the Nene has not been determined, although there is little doubt that they each sometimes prey on eggs, young birds, and flightless adults.