Ministry responsible: Environment and Parks
Western grebes are fish-eating waterbirds that live in freshwater lakes throughout much of Alberta, primarily in the central and north-central parts of the province.
Western grebes require large, undisturbed stretches of shoreline vegetation on lakes that have healthy fish populations, relatively stable water levels and water deep enough for diving. The presence of the western grebe is an indication of the overall health and diversity of the lake. The most serious threat to the species is the loss or degradation of intact shoreline reed beds. Other threats include mortality from collisions with power lines, wind turbines and solar panels, oil spills and disturbances from lake users.
In 2014, the western grebe was listed as a threatened species by the Alberta government. Since then, previously uncovered records indicate that the population of western grebes and the number of lakes that they inhabit is larger than previously understood. Recovery planning for the western grebe continues as more information is gathered on the population in the province.
Albertans were invited to respond to the draft Western Grebe Recovery Plan using an online survey; there were 24 respondents to the survey.
May 2014 – western grebe listed as threatened
August 2016 – Indigenous communities consulted
December 2, 2018 to January 2, 2019 – Public survey
February 2019 – Endangered Species Conservation Committee reviews plan and makes recommendations
Alberta western grebe recovery plan [DRAFT] and survey responses