Hawaiian goose conservation biology and reintroduction science

A study of the "whole" animal and its environment, including: population genetics and dynamics, modelling population viability, feeding ecology (plant-animal interactions), mate choice, dispersal, and the ontogeny of predator responses. This project uncovered a series of potential reasons for the continued need for remedial management action and has encouraged managers to implement recommendations.

We uncovered six limiting factors that are likely to be still affecting recovery of the species; there is scope for

  • maximising genetic diversity in wild flocks through strategic translocations of eggs and adults
  • training captive-reared goslings in predator avoidance skills prior to release
  • intensive habitat management to enable the acquisition of adequate fat and nutrient reserves
  • intensive predator control
  • community education
  • further financial and community support

Hawaiian Goose Slideshow

There are approximately 2000 Hawaiian Geese in the wild today (estimates in 2011). Future studies could include Population Viability Analyses, social aspects of foraging ecology and distribution, gosling diet deficiencies, and cultural transmission of habitat shifts and local movements.

Nene Recovery Initiative Publications

Bailey T & Black JM 1995. Parasites of wild and captive Nene Branta sandvicensis in Hawaii. Wildfowl 46, 59-65.

Banko PC, Black JM, Banko, WC 1999. Hawaiian goose (Nene) (Branta sandvicensis). In: The Birds of North America. No. 434 (Eds. A Poole & F Gill). The Birds of North America, Inc. Philadelphia, PA.

Black JM 1991. Guidelines for bird recovery programmes: re-introduction and re-stocking. Bird Conservation International 1, 329-334.

Black JM 1995. The Nene recovery initiative: research against extinction. Ibis 137, S153-S160.

Black JM 1998. Threatened waterfowl: recovery priorities and reintroduction potential with special reference to the Hawaiian goose. In: Avian Conservation: research and management (JM Marzluff & R Shallabanks), Pg. 125-140. Acedemic Press, New York and London.

Black JM & Banko PC 2005. Hawaiian goose Branta sandvicensis. In: Ducks, geese and swans of the world, Ed. J. Kear. Oxford University Press; 316-321.

Black JM & Banko PC 1994. Is the Hawaiian goose saved from extinction? In: Creative Conservation - the interface between captive and wild animals , Ed. PJS Olney, GM Mace & ATC Feistner, pp.394-410. Chapman & Hall, London.

Black JM, Duvall, F, Howside H, Medeiros J, Natividad Hodges C, Santos N, and Telfer T 1991. The current status of Hawaiian goose a its recovery programme. Wildfowl 42, 149-154.

Black JM, Marshall AP, Gilburn A, Santos N, Howside H, Medeiros J, Mello J, Natividad Hodges C, Katahira L 1997. Survival, movements and breeding of Hawaiian geese: an assessment of the reintroduction program. Journal of Wildlife Management 61, 1161-1173.

Black JM, Prop J, Hunter J, Woog F, Marshall AP and Bowler JM 1994. Foraging behaviour and energetics of the Hawaiian goose Branta sandvicensisWildfowl 45, 65-109.

Green A, Black JM & Ellis-Joseph S 1993. Conservation planning for globally threatened Anseriforms. In: Waterfowl and wetland conservation in the 1990s - a global perspective (eds. M Moser, RC Prentice and J van Vessem), IWRB Special Publication 26, 128-133.

Hoshide, H. M., A. J. Price, and L. Katahira. 1990. A progress report on Nene Branta sandvicensis in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from 1974-89. Wildfowl 41: 152-155.

Marshall A & Black JM 1992. The effect of rearing experience on subsequent behaviour traits in captive-reared Hawaiian geese: implications for the re‑introduction programme. Bird Conservation International 2, 131-147.

Rave L, Fleischer RC, Duvall F & Black JM 1994. Genetic analysis through DNA fingerprinting of captive populations of Hawaiian geese. Conservation Biology 8, 744-751.

Rave L, Fleischer RC, Duvall F & Black JM 1999. Effects of inbreeding on reproductive success in captive populations of Hawaiian geese. Wildfowl 49, 36-44.

Woog F & Black JM 2001. Foraging behaviour and the temporal use of grasslands by Hawaiian geese: implications for management. Studies in Avian Biology 22, 319-328.

Revised Recovery Plan by US Fish & Wildlife Service

USFWS 2004. Draft revised recovery plan for the Nene or Hawaiian goose (Branta sandvicensis).

Other Publications and Major Reports
  • Black JM 1990. The Nene Recovery Initiative. WWT report to Hawaiian Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. pp. 42.
  • Black JM & Marshall AP 1992. Hawaii's state bird at risk. Wildfowl & Wetlands 106, 20-23.
  • Black JM, Marshall AP & A Gilburn 1993. Survival, movements and reproductive success of released Hawaiian geese: an assessment after thirty-year. WWT report to Hawaiian Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. pp. 37.
  • Black JM, Prop J, Hunter J, Woog F, Marshall AP and Bowler JM 1993. Foraging performance of Hawaiian Geese. WWT report to Hawaiian Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. pp. 80.