African Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus auritus)

One of the smallest species of waterfowl in the world, the African Pygmy-Goose is actually a perching duck, but the shape of its beak is goose-like, hence the name "Pygmy-Goose.

Scientific classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Aves, Order Anseriformes, Family: Anatidae, Genus: Nettapus, Species: Nettapus auritus

Range: Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar

Subspecies: None

Habitat: Wetlands of all types.

Status in Wild: The African Pygmy-goose is evaluated as Least Concern by the IUCN as it has a very broad range over most of Africa and will use all types of water.

Aviculture: Despite be widespread and common in the wild, the African Pygmy-goose is quite rare in private aviculture and zoos. Several factors such as dependence on seasonal rain for breeding makes the species difficult to propagate in captivity.

Interesting Facts: Pygmy-Geese often nest in tree cavities like other species of perching ducks such as the Mandarin and Wood Ducks. The genus name Nettapus is a mixture of Greek - nētta, nēssa meaning duck and New Latin -pus meaning foot. The species name, auritus is Latin meaning ear - perhaps in reference to the dark patches behind the eye.

The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer, but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again. - William Beebe, 1906

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