Save the Last Remaining Hooded Grebes

  • by: Milton J
  • recipient: President of Argentina: Mauricio Macri
The world has only known about the beautiful hooded grebe for a little more than 40 years. But in that time, the beautiful waterfowl with a long neck, stunning plumage and piercing red eyes has captivated bird lovers and laymen alike. Its courting dance looks like two dancers doing the tango on the water. Fitting, since it calls Argentina - land of the tango - its home.

But the world’s love affair with this gorgeous bird could be short lived. Apart from the threats it faces from invasive species -  like the American mink which hunt it, and loss of habitat due to overgrazing - the bird faces a bigger threat from the Argentine government.

They live on just a fraction of the glacial lakes in Patagonia. These pristine and irreplaceable lagoons are the grebe’s last strongholds. Any sort of human encroachment or change to the environment could spell the end of the entire species. But despite that fact, the Argentine government - along with Chinese companies - is planning on building two dams on the Santa Cruz river, the river that the grebes depend on for their diminishing habitat. If the dams are built they could seriously change the river’s flow threatening the grebe’s habitat in yet unknown ways.

The remoteness of their habitat hasn’t kept them safe from the effects of man. In fact, almost since their discovery their numbers have decreased. In the 1980s there were between 3,000 to 5,000 hooded grebes, that number has dwindled down to around 400 breeding pairs today. That’s just 800 birds who hold the fate of their species in their wings. A pathetically small number in one of the world’s largest countries.

Conservationists are fighting the construction of the dam that has been - for now - stalled by a court order, but it may not hold. Animal lovers around the world need to tell the Argentine government that this dam is not worth the extinction of an entire species. Join the fight - sign the petition and say NO to the Santa Cruz River mega dams.   

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