Titicaca Grebe

South America


Rollandia microptera


Deaths by thousands are due to drowning in gill nets due to its sedentary, flightless nature.

The Titicaca Grebe or locally known as Zampullín Del Titicaca exclusively inhabits its namesake lake region that straddles between Bolivia and Peru. Together with the White Tufted Grebe, they are the only two members of the Rollandia genus.

Adults grow up to 600 g and 45 cm in weight and length. It has rufous neck, flanks, and sides contrasted by a dark crown, yellow bill, and white throat.

Its short wings makes it flightless, a trait similar to the Peruvian Junin Grebe, but it has excellent diving skills that is helpful for hunting its favourite food item, the Orestias pupfish. Occasionally, it will eat the Pejerrey fish but only if it is not beyond 15 cm in size.