African pygmy goose

(Nettapus auritus)


African pygmy goose IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The African pygmy goose is the smallest of the perching ducks with a body-weight of about 285 g in males and 260 g in females.

Males have a white face with green ear patches and metallic green on their back; females are rather greyish, with dark eye patches.

The African pygmy goose nests usually in tree cavities, but occasionally also on ground, in cliff holes, termite mounds, thatched roofs etc. 6 to 12 creamy-white eggs are laid, which are incubated for 23-26 days.

Did you know?
that this bird has beak like a goose, but is really rather a duck? The pygmy goose is placed in the Anatinae (dabbling ducks) subfamily.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Nettapus auritus
Name (English) African pygmy goose
Name (French) Sarcelle de Madagascar
Name (German) Afrikanische Zwergglanzgans
Name (Spanish) Gansito africano; Patito africano
Local names Afrikaans: Dwerggans
CITES Status Appendix III (Danemark)
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA



Photo Copyright by
Trisha Shears



Range Subsaharan Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Congo Dem., Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Liberia Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Vagrants may be encountered in Lesotho and Sao Tome.
Habitat Freshwater wetlands.
Wild population The large global population estimated to be 120,000 to 270,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 57 specimens reported to ISIS (2006).

In the Zoo

African pygmy goose


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Veli Pohjonen

Why do zoos keep this animal

The African pygmy goose is not a threatened species. Zoos keep them for educational purposes and as an ambassador species for wetland conservation. Due to its small body size it is a very handy species for being kept in aviaries.