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Great Crested Grebe


Podiceps cristatusGreat Crested Grebe

Group:Chordata (vertebrates), Aves (birds), Podicipediformes, Podicipedidae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: vulnerable
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Not listed
Found in Tasmania and elsewhere
Click to enlarge
​​The great crested grebe lives on rivers, lakes and estuaries but in Tasmania, are thought to breed only on Lake Dulverton near Oatlands. It is a large, long necked water bird up to 50 cm high. It has a grey to brown back with a white silky breast, long white neck and a long, pointed, straight bill. The brown coloured crest occurs in adults and is expanded for display. The species is nomadic for most of the year and may be seen singly or in small groups on large water bodies. Food is small fish, invertebrates or plants got by diving. Most flying is by night. Breeding is from November to March, nests are made of heaped floating vegetaion anchored to reeds or drooping branches.
Threats include degradation of wetlands by draining, pollution and weeds, drought and low levels in Lake Dulverton which affects breeding, and disturbance to the birds when nesting.
Source; Bryant, S. L. and Jackson, J. (1999). Tasmania’s Threatened Fauna Handbook. Threatened Species Unit, Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart.

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.​

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.
  • ‘Habitat’ refers to both known habitat for the species (i.e. in or near habitat where the species has been recorded) and potential habitat (i.e. areas of habitat with appropriate characteristics for the species and within the species potential range which have not yet been adequately surveyed).
  • If in doubt about whether a site represents potential habitat for this species, contact the Threatened Species Section for further advice.
  • The Great Crested Grebe lives in large, deep open bodies of fresh water, including river, lagoons, lakes, swamps, reservoirs, estuaries and bays. It nests in emergent aquatic vegetation, or sometimes on floating vegetation in deep water.


What to avoid
  • Clearing and drainage of wetland habitat.​



Helping the species


Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation










Changing water flow / quality


Use of chemicals




Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image).

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​