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Junin Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 162512279

Strategic Conservation Plan for the Junin Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii) at Lake Junin, Peru

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 162512279) - Junin Grebe - Awarded $12,450 on May 23, 2016

The Association of Andean Ecosystems' mission is to conserve Peruvian endangered species of flora and fauna, threatened ecosystems, wetlands and migratory bird species, through the protection of biological diversity and the sustainable use of natural resources, within a framework of participation and commitment from local communities.

This project is located at the Junín National Reserve, home to approximately 40,000 people. The majority live in extreme poverty and depend highly on the use of natural resources. However, due to lack of knowledge this use is highly unsustainable and results in degradation of habitat in and around the lake. The need for saving the Junín Lake ecosystem is high in order to preserve endemic and threatened biodiversity from extinction. One way to improve habitat quality in the long term is by building local capacity focused on sustainable use of the environment.

This project focuses on the Critically Endangered Junin Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii) as the primary species, along with the Endangered Junin Rail (Laterallus tuerosi). Both the Junin Grebe and the Junin Rail are endemic to Peru, where their distribution is confined to Lake Junín. The species suffer from water pollution and human-induced water-level changes. The lake lies within the 53,000 ha Junín National Reserve which was created in 1974 and declared as a Ramsar site in 1997, and is the center of an Endemic Bird Area. 

The Junin Grebe was considered extremely abundant in 1938, but the population has shown consistent decline since the 1960s and continues to fall rapidly. Its population is now estimated at around 200 individuals, all of which are restricted to the southern part of this Andean lake. The Junin Grebe forages in open water, but near the shore in the (wet) breeding season (November-March) and in the center of the lake in the dry austral winter. It feeds mainly on small Orestias fish (which become scarce when the reed beds dry out, and invertebrate larvae and adults.

ECOAN has been working in this area through a process of organizing institutions, scaling up the results, and performing research to ensure the implementation of an effective conservation strategy. Thanks to ECOAN's past work we have managed to maintain a stable population of the Junin Grebe, and the local community has become more empowered and now has an active management committee along with an active Ecologists Club. 

The specific objectives of this project are as follows:

A. Reduce habitat impacts (specifically pollution) by at least 10%.

B. Engage local communities in the conservation of these species through a series of environmental education programs and workshops.

C. Perform research and monitoring, which will help us measure the impact of our project and see if the population is responding positively over time. We will also gather data on the sensitivity of this species to environmental changes over time.

D. Build networks and distribute information with the participation of local stakeholders in order to mitigate threats to the Junin Grebe's habitat.

For more information about ECOAN's work, please visit our website

Project documents