MICHAEL SZOENYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL SZOENYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hawaiian goose, or nene (Branta sandvicensis), standing and calling on a lava field. Its Hawaiian name, nene (pronounced nay-nay) is derived from the soft call heard here. This species of goose is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, and is the official state bird of Hawai'i. It is found in the wild only on the islands of Maui, Kaua'i, Moloka'i and Hawai'i. Hunting and introduced predators decimated its numbers, and by the 1950s there were only 30 birds alive. Conservation efforts have allowed its population to recover to more than 1000, although it remains vulnerable. It is a herbivorous goose that is thought to have descended from the familiar Canada goose shortly after the formation of the island Hawaii.
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