Tag Archives: Branta

Branta rhuax (Wetmore)

Giant Nene (Branta rhuax)

The Giant Nene was already described in 1943, its remains were found in 1926 at a depth of 25 m under a lava flow near a place named Kaumaike’ohu in the Ka’u District on the island of Hawai’i; it was actually the first fossil bird described from the Hawaiian Islands.

This form has widely been synonymized with a very large goose, that is known from subfossil remains also found on Hawai’i Island.

The Giant Nene was the largest member of the large Hawaiian goose radiation, it was more than twice the size of the still living Nene (Branta sandvicensis (Vigors)).

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part I. Non-Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991

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edited: 05.05.2022

Branta sp. ‘O’ahu’

Oahu Nene (Branta sp.)

The Oahu Nene is known from subfossil remains that were found at Barbers Point in the southwest part of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

This form is quite similar to the Great Nene (Branta hylobadistes Olson & James) from Maui Island, but its hindlimb elements were generally longer and more gracile; the form shows furthermore a great variation in size, especially of the wing elements. [1]

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The Oahu Nene occurred sympatrically with the Nene (Branta sandvicensis (Vigors)), the sole surviving species of the now extinct Hawaiian goose radiation.

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part I. Non-Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991

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edited: 05.05.2022

Branta hutchinsii ssp. asiatica Aldrich

Bering Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii ssp. asiatica)

The Bering Cackling Goose was described in 1946; it is thought to have been breeding on the Komandorski- and the Kuril Islands offshore the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Bering Sea.

This form disappeared sometimes during the 1920s, probably due to overhunting.

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The Bering Cackling Goose is often treated as being identical with the Aleutian Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii ssp. leucopareia (Delacour)) (see photo below).

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References:

[1] John W. Aldrich: Speciation in the White-cheeked Geese. The Wilson Bulletin 58(2): 94-103. 1946

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Aleutian Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii ssp. leucopareia)

Foto: Alexander Lang

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edited: 05.05.2022

Branta sp. ‘Kaua’i’

Medium Kauai Nene (Branta sp.)
The Medium Kauai Nene is known only from the subfossil remains of one individual that were recovered from the deposits of the Makawehi Dunes on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

This form was more robust than the likewise extinct form known from O’ahu. [1]

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part I. Non-Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991

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edited: 05.05.2022