Podiceps auritus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Podiceps auritus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Horned Grebe, Slavonian Grebe

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L., Calvert, R.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Podiceps auritus can be found across from Iceland, northern United Kingdom and Scandinavia in Europe, and throughout the centre of Russia to the Pacific coast. It also breeds in southern Alaska (USA), in most of western and central Canada, and in northern USA. Wintering grounds occur further south, including the North Sea, Adriatic Sea, Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, as well as the coast Japan, Korea and China, and the USA down to California on the Pacific coast and Texas on the Atlantic coast (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Albania; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; Iceland; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan, Province of China; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States (Georgia); Uzbekistan
Algeria; Armenia (Armenia); Bermuda; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Cyprus; Gibraltar; Hong Kong; India; Israel; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Luxembourg; Montenegro; Morocco; Pakistan; Portugal; Serbia (Serbia); Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number c.140,000-1,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in China and c.100-100,000 breeding pairs and c.50-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
For further information about this species, see 22696606_podiceps_auritus.pdf.
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Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour This species is fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and travels over land in stages on a broad front, some populations only moving short distances to the nearest ice-free coast (Fjeldsa 2004). The species breeds from April to August (del Hoyo et al. 1992) in solitary isolated pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Fjeldsa 2004), small loose colonies occasionally forming on lakes with rich extensive feeding areas (Fjeldsa 2004). During the non-breeding season the species usually remains solitary or forages in pairs or small groups (Snow and Perrins 1998) although flocks of up to c.500 individuals may gather occasionally on the sea during the winter (Fjeldsa 2004) and flocks of up to 60 individuals may travel together on passage (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on small, shallow fresh (del Hoyo et al. 1992), brackish or slightly alkaline (Fjeldsa 2004) waters between 0.5 and 2 m deep and between 1 and 20 ha in area (Snow and Perrins 1998) with rich floating (Konter 2001), submergent and emergent vegetation (Fjeldsa 2004). Habitats include small pools, marshes with patches of open water and secluded sections of larger lakes and rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Non-breeding In its wintering range the species frequents coastal inshore waters (del Hoyo et al. 1992) up to 10-20 m in depth (Fjeldsa 2004) including sheltered bays (del Hoyo et al. 1992), lagoons and estuaries (Ogilvie and Rose 2003). It may also occur on large lake and river systems south of its breeding range (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Fjeldsa 2004). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of fish and invertebrates such as adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, dragonflies, mayflies, water bugs, damselflies and caddisflies), crustaceans (del Hoyo et al. 1992) (e.g. brine shrimp, cladocerans, amphipods, decapods (del Hoyo et al. 1992), crayfish (Fjeldsa 2004) and crabs (Konter 2001)), molluscs and worms (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Fish and crustaceans are more important components of the diet during the winter when the species is at sea (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Breeding site The nest is a platform of aquatic vegetation either floating and anchored to emergent vegetation, built from the lake bottom (where water is shallow) or built on rocks at water level (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Management information At a breeding lake in Scotland (Loch Ruthven) sedge beds are being extended to provide more nesting habitat for the species (Ogilvie and Rose 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to the species are human disturbance, forestry operations around breeding lakes (e.g. afforestation leading to hydrological changes and resulting in reduced numbers of invertebrate prey), fluctuating water levels, and the stocking of lakes with rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri (which competes with the species for aquatic insects) (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Historical range contractions have also occurred due to acidification and increased humus content of lakes, and the species is vulnerable to hypertrophication (Fjeldsa 2004). It is commonly caught and accidentally drowning in fishing nets (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and is particularly vulnerable to oil spills in the marine environment during the winter (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Ogilvie and Rose 2003, Fjeldsa 2004).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Podiceps auritus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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