Atitlan Grebe Podilymbus gigas


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.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2023 Extinct
2016 Extinct
2012 Extinct
2008 Extinct
2004 Extinct
2000 Extinct
1996 Extinct
1994 Extinct
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size unknown - - -
Population trend - - -
Generation length 4.23 years - - -

Population justification: In 1929, the maximum population was estimated at c. 400 individuals (Llimona et al. 2020). Between 1960 and 1965, its population dropped from c.300 to 80 individuals 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 the species was extinct by 1986 (LaBastille 1990).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Guatemala extinct native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major resident
Altitude 1500 - 1500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Negligible declines Past Impact
Species mortality
Biological resource use Gathering terrestrial plants - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Past Impact
Ecosystem degradation
Geological events Earthquakes/tsunamis Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Past Impact
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Micropterus salmoides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Whole (>90%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Past Impact
Competition, Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Podilymbus gigas. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/atitlan-grebe-podilymbus-gigas on 22/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 22/02/2024.