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: Easter chick: A newly-hatched gosling.

A rare newly-hatched Hawaiian Goose enjoys the spring air after being reared as part of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust conservation work.

The four-day-old grey Hawaiian Goose gosling, or nene as it is known in its native Hawaiian Islands, in just one of the young wildfowl to be successfully reared at the trust's base at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.

Sometimes known as Lava Geese, nenes are the only waterfowl adapted for life on lava flows and have mostly lost the webbing between their toes.

An estimated 25,000 nenes used to inhabit the Hawaiian islands, but following the arrival of Europeans in 1778, many were killed for food. By 1949 only 20 to 30 birds survived.

But after a number of the wildfowl were taken into captivity and three sent to Slimbridge in 1950, a major reintroduction programme was started.

By 1992 more than 2,000 captive-bred nenes had been released back into the wild in Hawaii, 200 of which were reared at Slimbridge.

Slimbridge is also celebrating the arrival of a pair of greater flamingo eggs this Easter which were laid just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 12, 2004
Words:187
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