||Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1894
||Junin Grebe, Junín Grebe, Puna Grebe
||del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
||35 cm. Slim, long-necked grebe with pointed-head appearance. Grey frontal area and auricular. Blackish hind crown, continuing down upperside of neck. Completely dark upperparts. White throat to crissum, mottled dusky on sides of breast and belly. Slender, mostly grey bill. Red iris and buffy tarsus. Immature is greyer on flanks. Similar spp. Race juninensis of Silvery Grebe P. occipitalis is smaller, shorter necked, and has shorter, mostly blackish bill. Voice Melodic whistles dooi'th and wit reported.
|Red List Category & Criteria:
||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
||Engblom, G., Fjeldså, J., Hennessey, A., Valqui, T. & Angulo Pratolongo, F.
||Benstead, P., Bird, J., Calvert, R., Clay, R., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J
This species qualifies as Critically Endangered as it is endemic to one Andean lake where it has undergone significant population declines, such that an extremely small number of adults remain. Although numbers are known to fluctuate considerably, most probably as a result of extractive pressure combined with relatively unstable climatic conditions linked to ENSO events, with numbers lowest during dry years, recent surveys suggest a continuing rapid population decline.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
- 2015 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2013 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2012 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2010 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2009 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2008 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2006 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2004 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 2000 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 1996 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 1994 – Critically Endangered (CR)
- 1988 – Threatened (T)
|Range Description:||Podiceps taczanowskii is a flightless waterbird confined to Lake Junín in the highlands of Junín, west-central Peru. It was extremely abundant in 1938, and the population was probably well over 1,000 birds in 1961. In the early and mid-1980s there were c. 250 birds, but only 100 were counted in 1992, falling to around 50 in 1993 (Valqui 1994). New extrapolations in early 1995, using a different methodology, estimated 205 individuals (O'Donnell and Fjeldså 1997). The 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 breeding seasons were unsuccessful, but two broods apparently fledged in 1997-1998 (T. Valqui in litt. 1999). In August 1998, over 250 Podiceps sp. were found in 4 km2 of the lake (suggesting a total of 350-400 birds) and all those identified (over 20) were P. taczanowskii (T. Valqui in litt. 1999). Counts in 2001, 2002 and 2007 using standardised survey methods estimated the population at 304, 249 and 217 individuals respectively (ECOAN 2009). The population now appears to be restricted to the south of the lake, though individuals are still seen attempting to colonise the north and north-west (ECOAN 2009). |
|♦ Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):||No||♦ Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:||140|
|♦ Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):||Unknown||♦ Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):||No|
|♦ Number of Locations:||1||♦ Continuing decline in number of locations:||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:||No||♦ Lower elevation limit (metres):||4080|
|♦ Upper elevation limit (metres):||4080|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
Declines followed a deterioration in water quality owing to mining activities, and extreme water-level fluctuations (Valqui 1994). Water-level regulation for a hydroelectric plant supplying nearby mines causes nesting and foraging areas to dry out, and breeding to fail. Mining activities also pollute the lake, with the north-western part rendered lifeless by iron-oxide sedimentation (O'Donnell and Fjeldså 1997, ECOAN 2009). Dead grebes, possibly killed by pollution, were reportedly found in 2008 (Hirschfeld 2008), and this is presumably the most significant threat to the species. Relatively unstable climatic conditions, linked to El Niño Southern Oscillation events, may have contributed to large population fluctuations, with a recovery in years with high water levels (e.g. 1997-1998) (T. Valqui in litt. 1999), and previous poor breeding successes. Although the population has shown major fluctuations, its ability to recover were it to experience a series of poor years is in doubt. Many individuals died during extreme cold conditions in 1982; similar conditions in June 2007 gave cause for concern (G. Engblom in litt. 2007), but the impacts are, as yet, unknown.