Facts about the African Pygmy Goose
Common Name: African pygmy goose
Genus Family: Nettapus auritus.
The African Pygmy Goose (Nettapus auritus) is Africa’s small duck, despite the fact that it is called a goose. Their homes can be found in various African countries, from and Cape North to Ethiopia in the sub-Saharan Africa.
The African Pygmy Goose will make their homes in ponds, bays and sluggish rivers. They are one of the few waterfowls that can and will perch on branches and make their nests in high locations.
The African Pygmy Goose can be found in typically small groups. During the nesting period, when the African Pygmy Goose moults, they can be found in much larger groups. They will try to avoid coming up onto land and make their nests in tree holes where a typical clutch consists of six to twelve creamy-white eggs.
There are certain differences between males and females. The sides of the females’ heads are white with grey speckles and thin black lines under her eyes. The males, known as drakes, have white faces with metallic green patches to the back of the head with dark borders. They also have yellow bills. Both male and female African Pygmy Geese have a reddish or yellow-pinkish colouring to the under-parts of their bodies.
They reach a height of around 30 inches (75 cm) and a weight of around 285 grams (0.875 oz). They will feed mainly on the surface but will dive under to reach their food, which consists of seeds, water-lilies and other plant pieces.
The African Pygmy Goose has a lifespan of 10 – 15 years, reaching sexual maturity at two years. Females will lay six to twelve eggs, with a fledgling duration of 50 days.
They are considered to be a nomadic species. They will partially migrate depending on habitat, water availability or to go to their favourite moulting sites. This may be triggered by the rainy seasons but will vary from location to location.
Threats and Dangers to the Species:
Because of their incredibly wide range, they do not fall into the Vulnerable threshold. Despite the fact that their range is decreasing, it is not at a range that is sufficient to place them in the Vulnerable status (30% decline over ten years or three generations). However, even with this, their once large numbers have been reduced due to human invasion of their habitats.