The Mauritian Shelduck
) is an extinct species of goose
. It was a close relative of the Egyptian Goose
. Known from one or two subfossil carpometacarpus
bones and a few descriptions, this bird was about the size of a Brent Goose
. Its appearance is unknown, except that its wings showed the typical color pattern of shelducks
. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the Malagasy Shelduck
; in this case it would become the nominate subspecies
, as Alopochen mauritianus mauritianus
Sometimes even in scholarly sources one can find references to a supposed "Mauritius Swan"
or "Mauritius Comb Goose"
. These refer to the initial misidentification of the Alopochen mauritianus
bones as belonging to the genus Sarkidiornis
, but as early as 1897 the true nature of this bird was realized.
Like its Réunion relative
, the Mauritian Shelduck was rapidly hunted to extinction. Still reasonably plentiful in 1681
, the population collapsed soon afterwards, and Leguat
found "wild geese" to be "already rare" in 1693
. In 1698
, governor Deodati
declared them to be extinct.<!--From "Mascarene Swan": The Mascarene Swan was last observed on Réunion by P. Dubois on 1670 and on Mauritius by J. Marshall on 1668. It was herbivorous and endemic to the Mascarene Islands. It disappeared after the introduction... Read More