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Titicaca Grebe

Rollandia microptera


As its name suggests, this grebe is mainly found on Lake Titicaca, a high-altitude lake, which straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia.

It is one of only two grebes in the genus Rollandia, the other being the White Tufted Grebe. Like other grebes, the Titicaca Grebe is effectively flightless, but is an excellent diver, spending much of its time submerged under water in the hunt for fish. It has a highly-specialised diet, with up to 95 per cent of its diet consisting of one type of fish. They appear to be social, though it is more likely that aggregated nesting occurs due to scarcity of nesting habitat. Though nesting concentrates to some extent in November and December for breeding, due to the stable year-round climate of Lake Titicaca the grebes are able to breed year round. The greatest threat to the species is the use of long gill-nets in the lake. Grebes frequently get caught in these nets and drown. Reed harvesting, tourist boats and contamination from urban waste and local mines are also adversely affecting the species.

  • Order: Podicipediformes
  • Family: Podicipedidae
  • Population: 1,600
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 28-45cm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.05 (?)
ED Score: 18.46 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


The majority of the population is found in Lake Titicaca, a high altitude lake that straddles Bolivia and Peru, approximately 8,100 km2. Although this species have also been found on surrounding rivers, and Lakes Umayo, Arapa, UruUru, Poopó, and Lake Jahuira River.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is found on a high altitude lake, and its surrounding waterbodies, inhabiting a habitat mosaic of submerged vegetation in shallow waters. They are specialists, with 95% of their diet consisting of one genus of killifish, Orestias.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Hunting Gathering Fishing Recreation Dams Invasive species Industry Garbage

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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