EAZA Ex Situ Programme (EEP)


(Podicipedidae spp)

 William Costa
Institution:   ZSL London Zoo

EAZA Member Area

London Zoo

IUCN Red List status

IUCN Red List LC


Programme roles

Indirect Conservation icon  Model species
Two species of grebes are kept in European zoos, the Little Grebe and the Black-necked Grebe. These species act as ‘model species’ for the family allowing us to develop expertise on grebe captive management techniques and produce best practice guidelines. The further development of grebe specific husbandry expertise will not only allow us to better manage the populations within EAZA, it will also allow us to support the direct conservation action for threatened grebe species in-situ. Additionally, given the absence of an IUCN Special Group for grebes it was deemed important for the grebes to have more attention. 

 Conservation education
Grebes make excellent ambassadors for wetlands, highlighting the biodiversity of this habitat and captivating people through their bright nuptial plumages and courtship displays. A cornerstone of this EEP is to support the in-situ actions to conserve threatened grebe species. European grebe species kept within EAZA will act as Flagships for more threatened Grebe species around the world. This EEP is currently supporting partners leading the conservation efforts for the Critically Endangered Hooded Grebe and we have begun discussions to support work on the Critically Endangered Junin Grebe. 

Programme partners

wwt Hooded Grebe Project Aves Argentina




Programme numbers

In January 2021, the Grebe EEP had 64 animals in 28 institutions.

Programme highlights

  • WWT has a species highlight about the little grebe with interesting facts.
  • The EEP has provided Aves Argentina staff with equipment for Hooded Grebe hand rearing project. Furthermore there is also knowledge exchange programme initiated with Aves Argentina staff to share Grebe husbandry expertise to support EAZA and the Hooded Grebe Project