Early Easter Present at the Wetlands
Wardens at WWT London Wetland Centre are celebrating an early Easter present after three rare Nene goslings recently hatched. Only about 1,000 Nenes – pronounced ‘nay-nay’ after their call – survive in the wild in their native Hawaii. The goslings are out just in time for Easter; the proud parents seem unconcerned about the fuss their offspring are causing among visitors to London Wetland Centre!
Nenes, otherwise known as Hawaiian geese, are close to the hearts of staff at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) as Sir Peter Scott, who founded the Trust, established a captive breeding programme in the 1950s. At that time less than 30 Nenes survived in the wild. Thanks to a reintroduction programme by WWT in the 1960s there are now between 1000 – 2000 Nenes in the wild. Approximately 25,000 of the birds inhabited the Hawaiian islands in the 18th century but the introduction of predators by Europeans, as well as hunting, caused the population to decline.
They are distantly related to Canada geese, a common site in London, evolving from them about 500,000 years ago.
WWT London Wetland Centre is a 105 acre wetland visitor centre in Barnes, southwest London, an international award-winning visitor attraction and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is home to a wide range of wildlife species including birds, water voles, bats and amphibians. Facilities include six wildlife hides, the Water’s Edge Café, an Observatory, a gift shop and free car park. The Centre also has indoor and outdoor adventure play areas for children.
WWT London Wetland Centre Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT