Conservation of Threatened Birds


Loss of biodiversity and species extinction are among the most critical issues concerning wildlife and nature. In particular, 14% of all bird species are threatened to some extent (IUCN Red List 2015). Our group studies diverse South American bird species of conservation concern with the aim to provide managers and policy makers with information to outline accurate conservation actions. We use a mixture of molecular and field-based approaches to answer questions related to behavior, ecology, population genetics, and extinction risks.


Researchers and students involved in this area: J. C. Reboreda, B. Mahler, I. Roesler, M. Domínguez, N. Cossa and N. Lois

Conservation of the Rockhopper Penguin

Populations of the Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) are globally declining at an alarming pace, which is why IUCN classifies this species as “Vulnerable”. The main putative cause is the heterogeneous impact of global change on marine ecosystems, which combined with their ability to travel long distances makes it difficult to predict how these changes might affect their populations.

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Rockhopper Penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome (U. Balza).

Conservation of the Hooded Grebe

The grebes (PODICIPEDIFORMES, 22 species) are a cosmopolitan group that inhabits aquatic environments, currently having serious conservation problems: three species have become extinct while five are globally threatened. The Hooded Grebe (Podiceps gallardoi, Rumboll 1974) is an endemic species from Argentina and was elevated to the Critically Endangered category in 2012 (IUCN Red List).

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Hooded Grebe with two chicks (P. Hernández).

Conservation of the Yellow Cardinal

The Yellow Cardinal (Gubernatrix cristata) is a passerine endemic of southern South America, which is currently categorized as Endangered (IUCN Red List). In the past, this species was widely distributed in the thorny deciduous shrubland forests of central Argentina, most of Uruguay and part of southern Brazil. However, for over a century there has been a continuous removal of individuals, mainly males, to commercialize them as cage birds.

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Yellow Cardinal male (M. Domínguez)

Conservation of the Sheldgeese Species

South American sheldgeese (Chloephaga spp.) is a group composed by five endemic birds of central and southern South America. The three migratory species are considered endangered in Argentina: Ruddy-headed Goose is categorized as critically endangered, while the Ashy-headed Goose as threatened and the Upland Goose as vulnerable. Principal threats are hunting and predation by exotic species.

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Chloephaga rubidiceps (N. Cossa)