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New Zealand Grebe Poliocephalus rufopectus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) D1 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2015 Near Threatened
2012 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass 249 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 87,500 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1200-1400 medium Estimated 2012
Population trend Unknown poor Suspected -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.3 - - -
Population justification: The population has been estimated at c. 1,900-2,000 birds (Heather and Robertson 1997, Sachtleben in prep.), thus the number of mature individuals is put at 1,200-1,400, based on the assumption that mature individuals account for around 2/3 of the total population.
Trend justification: The species appears to be stable or increasing in some parts of its range (Marchant and Higgins 1990, Sachtleben in prep.). In the Rotorua Lakes area (which holds one quarter to one third of the total population) the population increased by 57% from 364 individuals in 1985 to 572 individuals in 2011 (Sachtleben et al. 2014). The overall population was precautionarily suspected to be in decline owing primarily to habitat loss and modification and the impacts of human disturbance and introduced predators, however there is evidence to suggest that it may now be stable or even increasing (K. Owen in litt. 2012).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
New Zealand Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
New Zealand Manukau Harbour site factsheet
New Zealand Rotorua Sulphur Point site factsheet
New Zealand Wairarapa Moana Ruamahanga site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) Major resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) Major resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) Major resident
Altitude 0 - 800 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Marine & freshwater aquaculture / Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Competition
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Common Brushtail (Trichosurus vulpecula) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Ferret (Mustela furo) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Stoat (Mustela erminea) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Unspecified Rattus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Poliocephalus rufopectus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/04/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/04/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Species name author Gray, 1843
Population size 1200-1400 mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 87,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species