The Cape Barren Goose is an Australian endemic, meaning that the species’ survival is entirely in Australian hands. It was driven to the brink of extinction in the 1950s before being given government protection from the excesses of the shooting fraternity. Thankfully the Cape Barren Goose is now on the road to recovery and is no longer considered endangered, although it remains one of the world’s rarest species of goose.
This is a very large, pale grey bird with a relatively small head, rows of large dark spots on the wings and splendid pinkish-red legs. Most noticeably the bill appears greenish-yellow, although strictly speaking it is the cere, or skin above the bill, that’s coloured this way. It’s definitely distinctive:
One plank in the conservation programme was to introduce Cape Barren Geese to Maria Island, which was not part of their natural range. Here they have done well and become very confiding, enabling Julie take this great close-up photo: