The magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmata) is the sole living representative species of the family Anseranatidae. This common waterbird is found in northern Australia and southern New Guinea. As the species is prone to wandering, especially when not breeding, it is sometimes recorded outside its core range. The species was once also widespread in southern Australia but disappeared from there largely due to the drainage of the wetlands where the birds once bred. Due to their importance to Aboriginal people as a seasonal food source, as subjects of recreational hunting, and as a tourist attraction, their expansive and stable presence in northern Australia has been "ensured protective management".
Magpie geese are unmistakable birds with their black and white plumage and yellowish legs. The feet are only partially webbed, and they feed on vegetable matter in the water, as well as on land. Unlike true geese, their molt is gradual, so no flightless periods result.