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Andean goose

Chloephaga melanoptera

Andean goose

As the name suggests, the Andean goose lives within the wetlands of the Andes Mountains, in South America, 3000 metres above sea level.

The Andean goose is a member of the duck, swan and goose family. Although they live around the lakes within the mountains, they are not the best of swimmers so they tend to avoid the water.

Andean geese are noisy birds and the voices of the male and female are easily distinguishable as the male makes a high-pitched whistle and the female makes a lower-pitched cackling sound. While Andean geese live in small flocks they break up into pairs during the breeding season. The pair seek out a place to create a nest scrape in grassy vegetation. The female then incubates the eggs while the male stands on guard for the 30 day incubation period. Both parents actively raise the young.

Habitat
Mountains and wetlands/marsh

Diet - Herbivore
The Andean goose is a grazing animal and feeds mainly on grass and plant material.

Size
The average length of an Andean goose is 80 centimetres and the bird can weigh more than three kilograms.

Location
The Andean goose can be found in the wetlands of the Andes, in South America. They are terrestrial birds and live well over 3,000 metres above sea level.

Conservation status
The Andean goose is not at a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Threats
The Andean goose does not face any immediate threats as they are well isolated. Due to the high altitude and wide range they live in, they rarely come into contact with humans.

Current population
It is estimated that there are between 25,000 and 100,000 mature birds left in the wild.

Zoo population
There are around 32 Andean geese living in zoos around the world.