African pygmy goose

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African pygmy goose
A pair in Ethiopia (female in foreground)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Nettapus
Species: N. auritus
Binomial name
Nettapus auritus
(Boddaert, 1783)
Male at Houston Zoo, USA
Female at North Carolina Zoo, USA

The African pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus) is a perching duck from sub-Saharan Africa. It is the smallest of Africa's wildfowl, and one of the smallest in the world.[2]

Though pygmy geese have beaks like those of geese, they are more related to the dabbling ducks and other species called 'ducks'.[3]

It is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


The African pygmy goose is one of the smallest of the perching ducks, and it has the average weight of about 285 grams (10.1 oz) for males and 260 grams (9.2 oz) for females. The females have a grayish color with dark eye patches while the males have a white face with vibrant green ear patches and metallic green on their back.[3]


The African pygmy goose is known to be nomadic. It can be found across a wide area of sub-Saharan Africa.[4] It prefers inland wetlands with vegetation such as water lilies. It sometimes occupies open swamps, farm dens, river pools, and estuaries.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Nettapus auritus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Madge, Steve; Burn, Hilary (1988). Wildfowl. London: Christopher Helm. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-4081-3762-8. 
  3. ^ a b "African pygmy goose". World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "African Pygmy Goose, Nettapus auritus". Nature Notes. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nettapus auritus (African pygmy-goose, Pygmy goose)". Biodiversity Explorer. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 

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