The Protected & Endangered Hawaiian Goose: The Nene

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825


Another endangered species in Hawaii is the Nene (neh neh) or Hawaiian Goose and is amongst the thirty bird species classified as endangered by the Federal and State Governments. The Nene is found ONLY in Hawaii and introduced as the State Bird in 1959 when Hawaii became the 50th state.

Even after 40 years of reintroduction with breeding the Nene in captivity and releasing them into the wild the Nene still struggles to survive mainly due to introduced predators and the loss of feeding habitat. 

Following are a few historic points regarding the decline in Nene population: 

  • It is said that the Canada Goose and Nene were derived from a common ancestor over a half million years ago but the one distinct difference is that the Canadian Goose breeds in the summer whereas the Nene breeds in the winter.
  • Polynesians started arriving around 1200 years ago and introduced the Polynesian Rat and that's when the Nene population started declining.
  • The Rat quickly populated the islands and changed the food source for many birds and insects.
  • Westerners brought guns and the Nene was sought for food.
  • A trade in salted Nene meat with sailing ships existed in the 1800's and in the mid 18900's there were an estimated 25,000 birds.
  • Then they were widely hunted for food until they banned hunting in 1907.
  • By 1949 there were only 30 birds living in the uplands of the island of Hawaii (Big Island)
  • They used to be distributed amongst all the Hawaiian islands but now only live in limited locations on the islands of Hawaii, Molokai, Kauai and Maui.
  • The Nene were mainly saved by the efforts of wildlife biologists from England and Hawaii and from 1918 until 1960 there were 2,300 young raised and released to the wild on all four islands.
  • There are still only an estimated 1300 Nene in the wild after 40 years of intense captive breeding and being released.

The Hawaiian island forests have the top 20 most threatened Bird Habitats in the United States. 


Whether you are visiting, relocating or residing in the State of Hawaii please respect our land and wildlife so we can protect our endangered species. 


Other endangered species stories:

  • Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals: What about "All Those Years Ago"?
  • Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal Spotted on the North Shore of Oahu!  
  • The Endangered Hawaiian 'HONU" (Green Sea Turtle) and Laws that Protect It
  • The MURDER of "Honey Girl"


    © 2008 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman, All rights reserved


    Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website:



    Posted by



    Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


     © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

    Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

    All rights reserved.






    This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

    Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
    ActiveRain Community
    Hawaii Honolulu County
    Posts to Localism
    POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
    Localism Success and Accountability Group
    Localism Wikipedia
    hawaii information
    hawaiian culture
    hawaii endangered species
    hawaii land preservation

    Spam prevention
    Show All Comments
    Brian Burke
    Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
    Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

    Sally - no snakes??? I am moving there LOL. We have our share of the Canadian Goose here that stop for a visit, and pack all the golf courses and parks :) Happy Thanksgiving. ~Rita

    Nov 27, 2008 07:13 AM #9
    Teri Eckholm
    Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
    REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

    Sally--Hopefully that Hawaiian goose will make the same comeback that the wild turkeys and bald eagles have.  Getting the message out is part of the process. Lovely picture. The Hawaiian goose seems to have a wider neck than those Canadian ones that are all over around here!

    Nov 27, 2008 09:02 AM #10
    Charles McDonald
    Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
    REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

    I just wanted to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

    and of course Merry Christmas!

    your friend in Charlottesville!

    Nov 27, 2008 09:17 AM #11
    Laura Cerrano
    Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
    Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

    Sally, What a gorgeous picture--and beautiful bird that is.  I have never heard of a Nene but hope they do everything they can to protect them.

    Nov 27, 2008 10:37 AM #12
    George Souto
    George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
    Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

    Sally, sorry but that goose would look real good on a table at this time of the year :)

    Happy Thanksgiving :)

    Nov 27, 2008 11:00 AM #13
    Bill Gassett
    RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
    Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

    Very interesting information Sally. The picture is just terrific...looks like he actually posed for you:)

    Nov 27, 2008 11:42 AM #14
    Patricia Kennedy
    RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
    Home in the Capital

    Sally, that's a good looking bird!  Good enough to eat, except that I am stuffed with his cousin, the turkey!

    Nov 27, 2008 11:42 AM #15
    Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
    Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

    Fran: Oh, goodness. You think?

    Rita: snakes. Against the law to bring in too. That must be a sight!

    Teri: It's been many years and though some progress seems it's never ending work :)

    Charles: Thanks much! Hope you had a glorious day!


    Nov 27, 2008 12:34 PM #16
    Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
    Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

    Carole: It's beautiful and so pleasant to watch at the zoo (where I snapped the pic)  So many endangered species much to do.

    George: Shame on you!  Happy Thanksgiving George...I'm thankful for friends like you :)

    Bill: He did :) I have a picture of an ostrich who did the same. I think they 'knew' I was going to blog about them lol!

    Patricia: Sure is...but not for my tummy. I guess I just always think of food from a store :)

    Nov 27, 2008 12:37 PM #17
    George Souto
    George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
    Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

    Sally :) :)

    Nov 27, 2008 03:08 PM #18
    Katerina Gasset
    Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
    Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

    Sally- The Nene is so gorgeous and very defining. It is amazing as I read your story to read that people back in the early 1900's were concerned and saw they needed to do something to protect the Nene. I remember when I lived in Hawaii, I could go hiking without fear of snakes or alligators. Here we have tons of snakes, poisonous ones too!

    Nov 27, 2008 03:20 PM #19
    Elizabeth Nieves
    The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
    Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

    What a beautiful bird! I can't believe that the population went from 25,000 to 30. That is just crazy to think how close this species came to being extinct. WOW! Hawaii looks like an amazing and exotic place. I can't wait to visit one day.

    I hope your day of giving thanks was especially blessed! GBU~

    Nov 27, 2008 03:30 PM #20
    Neal Bloom
    eXp Realty - Weston, FL
    Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

    We have something similar but not as nice looking and ours are just driven away because hey are all over peoples lawns:) I don't think ours are endangered.

    Nov 27, 2008 11:15 PM #21
    Debbie Summers
    Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL

    Sally - As always your stunning photos make this post come to life... What a beautiful bird...

    Nov 28, 2008 02:09 AM #22
    Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
    Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

    Hi Sally!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

    Your photo is just beautiful!  I'm telling you, you have another profession in your grasp should you ever decide to leave RE!

    I say, get rid of those RATS!  At least 1,300 is better than the 30 that were in existence in 1949.  Also, I guess that they are loving your area because they could not breed anywhere else in the country during the winter!

    Happy Friday!

    Debe in Charlotte

    Nov 28, 2008 03:26 AM #23
    Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
    Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

    George: I double that :)

    Katerina: Good thing you know how to handle that!  I would freak out!

    Elizabeth: Gorgeous...and yesterday when I wrote that...I was thankful for all the people that care and help the endangered species in fact, all over the world.

    Neal: Different types..yes. All over lawns?  Wow.

    Debbie: I appreciate that ...thanks!


    Nov 28, 2008 03:28 AM #24
    Kimo Stowell
    HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
    REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

    Aloha Sally,

    Mahalo for the posting and great picture. The black rat(European), feral cat, and mongoose have done a number on our indigenous bird species, but thanks to conservationists we may be able to save some of the endangered fauna and flora.


    Nov 28, 2008 08:20 AM #25
    Michele Connors
    The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
    Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

    what a beautiful bird. We have geese flying down now and just today we saw our first river otters swimming and playing in our backyard lake! I ran for the camera but It is raining so the picture didnt come out..and a flash they were gone! I am watching for them to return. There were three rolling and playing.

    I love moments like that!

    Nov 29, 2008 05:04 AM #26
    Randy Prothero
    eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
    Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

    The Hawaiian Squirrels (rats) have taken their toll for sure.  I am glad they were able to save the Nenes.  It came real close to being their demise.

    Nov 29, 2008 03:37 PM #27
    Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
    Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
    Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

    Sally - what a fantastic photo! You always have such interesting facts to share with us! Thank you!

    Dec 01, 2008 01:23 AM #28
    Show All Comments

    What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

    Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


    Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman

    Spam prevention

    Additional Information