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Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 4,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 4,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 7.1 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.140,000-1,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in China and c.100-100,000 breeding pairs and c.50-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-75.9% decline over 40 years, equating to a -29.9% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Unknown Extant        
Albania Native Extant   Yes    
Algeria Vagrant Extant        
Armenia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Austria Native Extant   Yes    
Azerbaijan Native Extant   Yes    
Belarus Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Belgium Native Extant   Yes    
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes    
Canada Native Extant Yes   Yes  
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant   Yes    
Cyprus Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Native Extant   Yes    
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Estonia Native Extant Yes      
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant Yes      
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant   Yes    
Georgia Native Extant   Yes    
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant   Yes    
Greenland (to Denmark) Native Extant       Yes
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant        
Hungary Native Extant   Yes    
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
India Vagrant Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Ireland Native Extant   Yes    
Israel Vagrant Extant        
Italy Native Extant   Yes    
Japan Native Extant        
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant   Yes    
Latvia Native Extant       Yes
Lebanon Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Libya Vagrant Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant       Yes
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Mexico Native Extant        
Moldova Native Extant Yes      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Vagrant Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
North Korea Native Extant        
Norway Native Extant     Yes Yes
Pakistan Vagrant Extant        
Poland Native Extant     Yes Yes
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Romania Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Serbia Vagrant Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes    
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant   Yes    
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Native Extant     Yes Yes
Switzerland Native Extant   Yes    
Syria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tunisia Vagrant Extant        
Turkey Native Extant   Yes    
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Ukraine Native Extant       Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
USA Native Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
China (mainland) Bayanbulak and Kaidu River Valley site factsheet
Denmark Ronne Banke site factsheet
Denmark Rønne Banke site factsheet
Estonia Kahtla-Kübassaare site factsheet
Estonia Kõrvemaa site factsheet
Estonia Lavassaare site factsheet
Estonia Mullutu site factsheet
Estonia Siiksaare-Oessaare bays site factsheet
Finland Elimyssalo site factsheet
Finland Suomenoja site factsheet
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré site factsheet
France Littoral Augeron site factsheet
Iceland Austara Eylendid site factsheet
Iceland Mývatn-Laxá site factsheet
Iceland Öxarfjördur site factsheet
Iceland Úthérad site factsheet
Iceland Vestmannsvatn site factsheet
Japan Yakumo site factsheet
Kazakhstan Markakol State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kyrgyzstan Lake Chatyr-Kul site factsheet
Latvia Engure lake site factsheet
Latvia Lubans and fish-ponds site factsheet
Norway Balsfjord site factsheet
Norway Inner Trondheimsfjord site factsheet
Norway Jæren site factsheet
Norway Lake Leksdalsvatn site factsheet
Norway Lista wetland system site factsheet
Norway Ørlandet site factsheet
Norway Reisa site factsheet
Norway Saltstraumen & Skjerstadfjorden site factsheet
Norway Smøla archipelago site factsheet
Norway Southern Snåsavatn & Lømsen site factsheet
Norway Tautra & Svaet site factsheet
Norway Været site factsheet
Poland East Border Waters site factsheet
Poland Pomeranian bay site factsheet
Poland Vistula river mouth site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Baturino-Simansky area site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Bystroistokskaya site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dzhulukul' depression site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Ilmensky zapovednik site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kondinskiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kornilovsky pine forest site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob' site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Mayan lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Pershinsko-Manatkinsky area site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Russkoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Taezhno-Mikhaylovsky site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Upper streams of Ob' river site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Verkhne-Kondinsky zakaznik site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Watershed of the Mulym'ya and Bolshoy Tap rivers site factsheet
Russia (European) Adovo-Chugrumski wetland site factsheet
Russia (European) Druzhinnoe lake and its outskirts site factsheet
Russia (European) Kamsko-Bakaldinskiye marshes site factsheet
Russia (European) Valley of Sysola river site factsheet
Sweden Sjaunja site factsheet
United Kingdom Exe Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch Ashie site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch Ruthven site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch Ruthven and Nearby Lochs site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch Tarff and nearby lochs site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch Tarff and Nearby Lochs site factsheet
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays site factsheet
United Kingdom North Inverness Lochs site factsheet
United Kingdom North Inverness Lochs site factsheet
United Kingdom Scapa Flow site factsheet
United Kingdom South Cornwall Coast site factsheet
USA Prince William Sound site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 1000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Podiceps auritus. Downloaded from on 31/08/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 31/08/2015.

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 Least Concern
Family Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,000,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment