The Junin Grebe is a flightless species, only occurring on Lake Junin high in the Andes of central Peru. As with most grebes, its diet primarily consists of small fish, supplemented with invertebrate larvae. It builds a floating or semi-floating nest among the reeds lining the lake shore.
The primary threat to the grebe is loss of its food supply to water contamination from mining operations in the area. Lake water levels have also fluctuated as a result of human use, including construction of a small dam, which has affected the lakeshore environment. Loss of reeds to harvest and burning during low water levels and dry seasons may also have reduced the habitat required by the grebes.
The shores along Lake Junin are also the only habitat for the Critically Endangered Junin Rail. Lake Junin is designated an Alliance for Zero Extinction site as the sole refuge for both the grebe and rail. ABC helped our Peruvian partner ECOAN publish a recent conservation plan for Lake Junin. This plan will guide future conservation efforts for this unique and globally important ecosystem, which also supports Chilean Flamingos and migratory shorebirds from North America. The Junin Lake Conservation Plan can be downloaded from ECOAN’s website.