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Podilymbus gigas 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Podicipediformes Podicipedidae

Scientific Name: Podilymbus gigas Griscom, 1929
Common Name(s):
English Atitlan Grebe, Atitlán Grebe, Giant Grebe, Giant Pied-billed Grebe
Spanish Poc de Atitlán, Somormujo de Atitlán, Zambullidor de Atitlán, Zampullín del Atitlán
Taxonomic Source(s): Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened Birds of the World, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., Martin, R
Justification:
This species was endemic to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, but is now Extinct. Its extinction occurred sometime between 1983 and 1986, caused by myriad alterations to its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Podilymbus gigas was endemic to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala (LaBastille 1974). 

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Guatemala
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
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:NoLower elevation limit (metres):1500
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Its population dropped from c.200 to 80 in the 1960s, but recovered to a high of 232 in 1975 (LaBastille 1984). However, various factors drove the population down to 30 by 1983, and it was extinct by 1986 (LaBastille 1990).
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:It inhabited one freshwater lake.

Systems:Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.4
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Initial population declines were a result of competition and predation by large-mouth bass Micropterus salmoides, introduced into the lake in 1960 (LaBastille 1984). However, increasing pressure on breeding sites from local reed-cutting and from tourism development, along with the murder of the government game warden for the national park during the political unrest of 1982 and falling lake levels following the earthquake of 1976, are likely to be the factors which drove the population to extinction (LaBastille 1990). Drowning in gill nets and disturbance by increasing boat traffic have also been suggested as contributory factors (Collar et al. 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Still listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
10. Geological events -> 10.2. Earthquakes/tsunamis
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.2. Unintentional effects (species is not the target)
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Micropterus salmoides ]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

Bibliography [top]

Collar, N. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Stattersfield, A. J. 1994. Birds to watch 2: the world list of threatened birds. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Howell, S. N. G.; Webb, S. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hunter, L. A. 1988. Status of the endemic Atitlán Grebe of Guatemala: is it extinct? Condor 90: 906-912.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

LaBastille, A. 1974. Ecology and Management of the Atitlán Grebe, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. Wildlife Society, Unknown.

LaBastille, A. 1984. Drastic decline in Guatemala's giant pied-billed grebe population. Environmental Conservation 11: 346-348.

LaBastille, A. 1990. WW Norton and Company, New York, USA.

Livezey, B. C. 1989. Flightlessness in grebes (Aves: Podicipedidae): its independent evolution in three genera. Evolution 43: 29-53.


Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Podilymbus gigas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696577A93572322. . Downloaded on 22 January 2018.
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