photo - Cape Barren Goose with all grey feathers tinted with shades of light brown color, beak is lime color with black spot, tip of beak is black.

Goose, Cape Barren

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Genus: Cereopsis 
Species: novaehollandiae

Southeastern Australia and Tasmania. There are small populations that have been introduced to New Zealand, Maria Island and some areas of southwestern Australia.

While the prefer to stick to offshore islands, as these are the normal breeding grounds, the Cape Barren goose has learned to adapt to agriculture lands.

Weight: 6 – 16 lbs.
Length: 30 – 39 inches

Approximately 17 years


  • Breeding season is from July to September
  • Pairs are monogamous with males building nests in open grassland areas directly on the ground.
  • Females will incubate the 4-6 eggs that they lay for around 34-38 days.

Wild: The preference of the Cape Barren Goose is a tussock grass, Poa poiformis, that is native to their range. They will also eat various other plants, grasses, leaves, stems, legumes and grains.


This species is diurnal and will spend most days grazing for food in their small flock. These flocks break off during the breeding season as this species is territorial. Unlike some other species of geese, the cape barren goose is not known to swim often, but has adapted to drinking salt water that is notorious to their native habitat.


  • Once thought to be endangered, the goose has made many adaptations that have allowed the species to rebound, including living on agricultural lands.
  • Although population is currently stable, they are considered one of the world’s rarest geese.
  • They are seed dispersers in their natural habitat

Least Concern