The nene is a endangered relative of the Canada goose that evolved in the Hawaiian Islands into a nonmigratory, nonaquatic species with shortened wings and half-webbed feet. The nene is about 25 inches long and has a gray-brown barred body, dark-streaked buffy neck, and black face. It feeds on berries and grasses on high lava slopes. Predation by introduced mammals —including dogs, cats, pigs, and mongooses— coupled with human hunting had, by 1911, reduced the nene population to a few small flocks. From that year shooting of the nene was forbidden, but nevertheless the species declined further, reaching about 30 in 1952. In captivity, the nene has been successfully bred, but flocks released into the wild have failed to propagate enough to form self-sustaining colonies. Hawaii now rigidly protects the nene, its official state bird.
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