Podiceps nigricollis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Podicipediformes Podicipedidae

Scientific Name: Podiceps nigricollis Brehm, 1831
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Black-necked Grebe, Eared Grebe
French Grèbe à cou noir
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.
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). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found on every continent except Australasia and Antarctica. It can be found from Europe to western Asia and in central and eastern Asia, wintering in the south-west Palearctic, east Asia and east Africa. It can also be found wintering and breeding in southern Africa. Furthermore, it breeds in south-west Canada, western USA and central Mexico, wintering as far south as Guatemala.

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; El Salvador; Estonia; Ethiopia; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Guatemala; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Namibia; Nepal; Netherlands; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Africa; Spain (Canary Is. - Vagrant); Sudan; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Yemen; Zimbabwe
Angola; Bermuda; Cameroon; Finland; Gibraltar; Hong Kong; Myanmar; Nigeria; Norway; Philippines; Seychelles; Swaziland
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:155000000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated to number c.3,900,000-4,200,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 46,400-77,500 pairs, which equates to 92,800-155,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are stable, have unknown trends or are increasing (Wetlands International 2015). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). In Europe the population size trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Behaviour This species is fully migratory (Snow and Perrins 1998), although the extent of migration varies between populations (del Hoyo et al. 1992), and some populations remain predominantly sedentary (e.g. in Spain) (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998). Autumn movements are often protracted, with dispersal beginning in mid-August and lasting until late-November (peaking in October) (Snow and Perrins 1998), with the return migration beginning in March (Snow and Perrins 1998). The species migratory movements are mainly nocturnal, although diurnal migration is known in the Palearctic (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It breeds between May and June in the Northern Hemisphere (Fjeldsa 2004) (although laying dates often vary extensively between years and lakes) (Fjeldsa 2004), and nests in reed swamps (del Hoyo et al. 1992) in small or large colonies of up to 2000 nests (although the species may also nest in isolated pairs) (Fjeldsa 2004). It forages diurnally (Brown et al. 1982, Fjeldsa 2004) and is highly gregarious (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Fjeldsa 2004), both on migration and during the winter, forming concentrations of hundreds of thousands at certain sites in North America and Asia (del Hoyo et al. 1992). After arrival in autumn staging grounds (e.g. Mono Lake in California) the species becomes flightless for 3 to 4 months due to loss of weight from the pectoral muscles (Ogilvie and Rose 2003). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season this species frequents permanent and temporary (Snow and Perrins 1998) small, shallow, highly eutrophic pools with lush vegetation, such as freshwater marshes and lakes (del Hoyo et al. 1992) with dispersed submergent vegetation and patches of reeds (Konter 2001, Fjeldsa 2004), as well as ponds and fish ponds, sewage farms, quiet river backwaters and newly flooded areas (del Hoyo et al. 1992). In southern Russia and Kazakhstan it shows a preference for variably developed reed swamps and gypsotrophic lakes (alkaline waters with rich submergent vegetation such as Chara and Potamogeton pectinatus) (Fjeldsa 2004). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species moves to salt lakes (del Hoyo et al. 1992), hyper-saline industrial evaporation ponds (Fjeldsa 2004) and reservoirs (Snow and Perrins 1998), or to coastal estuaries, arms of the sea, and inshore shallows in bays and channels (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998). Diet The species is carnivorous, its diet consisting of adult and larval insects (such as aquatic bugs, terrestrial and aquatic beetles, damselflies, dragonflies (del Hoyo et al. 1992), midges and brine-flies (Fjeldsa 2004)), molluscs, crustaceans (e.g. brine shrimps), amphibians (e.g. small frogs and tadpoles) (del Hoyo et al. 1992), nereid worms (Fjeldsa 2004), snails (Konter 2001) and small fish (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Fjeldsa 2004). Breeding site It usually nests colonially in thinly spaced, emergent marsh vegetation (such as Scirpus, Typha or sedge Carex), or on dense mats of floating waterweed, sometimes far from the shore (Fjeldsa 2004). The nest is a floating platform of aquatic vegetation anchored to emergent vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998) such as reeds (Fjeldsa 2004).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):7.1
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Huge mortalities are frequently sustained at Salton Sea in southern California for unknown reasons (Friend 2002, Cole and Franson 2006) (possibly an unknown biotoxin, pathogen, impairment of feather waterproofing leading to hypothermia, or a unique manifestation of avian cholera) (Meteyer et al. 2004). The species is also vulnerable to oil pollution as it frequently winters on the coast (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Ogilvie and Rose 2003), and is susceptible to avian cholera (Ogilvie and Rose 2003, Friend 2006), Erysipelas (Jensen and Cotter 1976, Friend 2006) and avian botulism (van Heerden 1974) so is threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases. Populations have also been known to crash in winter habitats during ENSO events due to reductions in food availability due to warming sea-surface temperatures, although they afterwards rebound (Jehl et al. 2002). Local declines of this species are also attributed to human disturbance (especially recreational activities on lakes) (del Hoyo et al. 1992), and it is commonly killed by collisions with power transmission lines (Malcolm 1982). The species is predated by American Mink Mustela vison in the Slonsk Reserve, western Poland (Bartoszewicz and Zalewski 2003) and was threatened in North America by egg collecting and hunting for the millinery (hat making) industry (although this threat has since been removed) (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Utilisation The species is hunted for commercial and recreational purposes in Gilan Province, northern Iran (Balmaki and Barati 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The following information refers to the species's range within Europe only: The species was included in the Grebes Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan published in 1997 (O'Donnell and Fjeldsa 1997).

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's range within Europe only: Key international sites should be identified and protected and monitoring of population fluctuations implemented at these sites. Evaluate the potential of the species as a keystone indicator of wetland health (O'Donnell and Fjeldsa 1997). Power lines should be moved or made more visible to reduce collisions and predator control introduced at important breeding sites. Strict legislation on the transportation of oil should be implemented to reduce the risk of future spills.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised. Edited Threats and Habitats and Ecology Information text.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Podiceps nigricollis (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22696610A111244773. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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