Colombian grebe

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Colombian grebe
Conservation status

Extinct  (1977) (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Podicipediformes
Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Podiceps
Species: P. andinus
Binomial name
Podiceps andinus
(Meyer de Schauensee, 1959)

The Colombian grebe (Podiceps andinus), was a grebe (aquatic bird) found in the Bogotá wetlands in the Eastern Andes of Colombia. The species was still abundant on Lake Tota (3000m) in 1945. The species has occasionally been considered a subspecies of black-necked grebe (P. nigricollis).

The decline of the Colombian grebe is attributed to wetland drainage, siltation, pesticide pollution, disruption by reed harvesting, hunting, competition, and predation of chicks by rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The primary reason was loss of habitat: drainage of wetlands and siltation resulted in higher concentrations of pollutants, causing (eutrophication) across Lake Tota. This destroyed the open, submergent pondweed (Potamogeton) vegetation and resulted in the formation of a dense monoculture of water weed (Elodea) (Varty et al. 1986, Fjeldsa 1993, as cited in O'Donnel and Fjeldsa 1997).

By 1968 the species had declined to approximately 300 birds. Only two records of this bird was made in the 1970s; one seen 1972, and the last confirmed record from 1977 when three birds were seen. Intensive studies in 1981 and 1982 failed to find the species and it is now considered extinct.

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