Flightless bird helps conservation take wing


A flightless bird whose population numbers barely 300 has become a symbol for conservation efforts in Peru’s central highlands, galvanizing government agencies, peasant communities and industry representatives to clean up the high-altitude lake that is its only home. Ornithologists believe the Lake Junín grebe, (Podiceps taczanowskii), evolved from the silvery grebe (P. Occipitalis), probably during the last Ice Age, when Lake Junín was the only open water amid miles of glaciers. About 22 miles (35 kms) long and nine miles (14 kms) wide, the lake, also known by its Quechua name, Chinchaycocha, is the second largest in Peru after Lake Titicaca. Since the 1800s, naturalists have recorded a rich variety of wildlife in and around Lake Junín. The lake occupies a windswept plain 13,400... [Log in to read more]

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