Magpie Goose

​Date Published: February 2012

Assessment Summary

The Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) is currently abundant throughout much of Northern Australia; with major distributions present in the northern regions of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.  

The historical distribution of this species has declined since the time of European settlement, and records show this species was once found throughout much of coastal Australia, with vagrant individuals occurring in Tasmania. The decline in range is thought to be due to the advance of settlement, hunting, draining of wetlands, poisoning and destruction of habitat due to cattle grazing.  

This species is not noted for establishing feral populations outside its natural range. No environmental damage has been associated with the Magpie Goose, although there is potential for the species to cause damage to agriculture by consuming and damaging crops. If a population were to establish in Tasmania, low-lying wetlands, including Wetlands of International Importance under the RAMSAR Convention, may be impacted. There is potential for this species to consume a number of species of threatened wetland grasses. Climate modelling indicates that there is a moderate likelihood of this species establishing in Tasmania.

The Magpie Goose is not currently listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) or the Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention). The species has not been previously assessed by the Vertebrate Pests Committee (2007).

The Magpie Goose is a ‘Listed Marine’ species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and is not included on the List of Specimens taken to be Suitable for Live Import under the Act. The Magpie Goose is protected in all Australian States and Territories, and is subject to an annual waterfowl hunting season in the Northern Territory.  

In Tasmania, the Magpie Goose is a ‘controlled animal’ under the Nature Conservation Act 2002.

This risk assessment concludes that the Magpie Goose is a moderate threat to Tasmania and recommends that imports are restricted to those license holders approved for keeping moderate threat species.

Assessment Documentation

  Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata)   (868Kb)


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