Egyptian goose

(Alopochen aegyptiaca)


Egyptian goose IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

A shelduck with a body-weight of about 1.9 to 2.6 kg in males and 1.5-1.8 kg in females.


Nest sites are variable and include burrows, other bird nests, trees, cliffs, on ground etc. 6 to 12 creamy-white eggs are laid, which are incubated mostly by the female for 30 days.

Did you know?
that the first historical reference to the Egyptian goose was a depiction at the grave of Mehu at Saqqara in Egypt around 2200 BC? Mehu was "Chief Justic and Vizier" during the reign of two kings of Old Kingdom's 6th dynasty.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Alopochen aegyptiaca
Name (English) Egyptian goose
Name (French) Oie d'Egypte
Name (German) Nilgans
Name (Spanish) Ganso del Nilo
Local names Afrikaans: Kolgans
Czech: Husice nislká
Dutch: Nijlgans
Greek: Alopóchina
Hungarian: Nilusi lúd
kiSwahili: Mmisri bata bakini
Polish: Ges egipska
Portuguese: Ganso del Egipto
seTswana: Legou
CITES Status Appendix III (Danemark)
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA INVASIVE SPECIES!



Photo Copyright by
Gerald van Drunen



Range Originally widely distributed in Africa, in parts of the Mediterranean and of Eastern Europe, from where it has disappeared. Today in: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Congo Dem., Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe Vagrants may be encountered in Benin, China, France, Ghana, Hungary, Ivory Coast, Malta, Spain, Syria, Switzerland, Togo. Reintroduced to Israel. Introduced populations in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom. Introductions to Australia, New Zealand and the United States failed.
Habitat Freshwater wetlands
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 210,000 to 530,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 604 reported to ISIS (2006).

In the Zoo

Egyptian goose


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 17 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Daniel Ulrich

Why do zoos keep this animal

The Egyptian goose is kept for educational reasons, often in mixed exhibits for African fauna together with ungulates, cranes and other waterfowl. In Europe it may also serve as a good example of an invasive species. In Africa, and parts of Europe, many Egyptian geese seen in zoos are not birds "kept" by the zoo, but free-flying birds having chosen the zoo as their habitat.