Also known as Hawaiian Geese, nene are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and are the world’s rarest goose. The Nene faced extinction in the 1960’s after invasive species were introduced to their habitat and were classified as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1967. With only 30 individuals recorded in 1960, aviculturists initiated a captive breeding program that allowed for the successful reintroduction of the Nene back to the Hawaiian islands. The initial captive breeding efforts were led by Dillon Ripley (1913-2001), founder of the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy. The first successful breeding of the Nene occurred at the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy in the 1960’s with additional aviculture facilities following suit in breeding Nene for reintroduction. Following the successful captive breeding and reintroduction program along with numerous other conservation efforts, the Nene were recently re-classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act as their wild population now reaches almost 3000 individuals.
Elmwood Park Zoo received our pair of Nene from the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy (now called the Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy) based on a recommendation from the Nene Species Survival Plan Coordinator.
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Arrived at EPZ: 6/28/2020