New Zealand goose

The New Zealand goose is the common name given to the extinct genus Cnemiornis of the family Anatidae, subfamily Anserinae.[1]

C. gracilis

New Zealand geese
Temporal range: Otiran-Holocene
C. calcitrans and Cereopsis novaehollandiae skeletons
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Genus: Cnemiornis
Owen 1866
  • C. gracilis
  • C. calcitrans

The genus, endemic to New Zealand, consisted of two species: the North Island goose, C. gracilis and the South Island goose C. calcitrans.[2][3] They were flightless with much-reduced webbing on the feet, an adaptation for terrestrial dwelling similar to that of the nene of Hawaii.[citation needed] They were never particularly common, and like many other large New Zealand endemic species they were subject to hunting pressures from the settling Polynesians, as well as predation upon their eggs and hatchlings by kiore/Polynesian rat (which accompanied the settlers) and the settlers' dogs, and were extinct before the arrival of European settlers.[3][4] They are usually considered most closely related to the Cape Barren goose of Australia.[3]


  1. Baker, A. J. (1991). "A review of New Zealand ornithology". Current Ornithology. 8: 1–67. ISBN 9780306436406.
  2. "Cnemiornis Owen". Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  3. Worthy, T. H.; Holdaway, R. N.; Sorenson, M. D.; Cooper, A. C. (December 1997). "Description of the first complete skeleton of the extinct New Zealand goose Cnemiornis calcitrans (Aves: Anatidae), and a reassessment of the relationships of Cnemiornis" (PDF). Journal of Zoology. 243 (4): 695–718. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1997.tb01971.x.
  4. "Extinct birds". TerraNature Trust. Retrieved 2019-05-30.