Spinus siemiradzkii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Fringillidae

Scientific Name: Spinus siemiradzkii (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1883)
Common Name(s):
English Saffron Siskin
Carduelis siemiradzkii (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1883)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 11 cm. Small, bright yellow-and-black finch. Male yellow with black hood, tail and wings, and yellow covert fringes and primary bases. Female is duller and lacks hood. Similar spp. Hooded Siskin C. magellanica has an olive, not yellow, mantle with black markings, both sexes are much less yellow. Voice A high twittering flight-call. Hints Favours weedy areas in quebradas and washes.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Ana, A. & Freile, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Gilroy, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C.J.
This species's habitat requirements, and therefore status, are unclear. If it is dependent on deciduous forest during part of its life-cycle, it may qualify as Endangered. If it is not dependent on this habitat, then it may only qualify as Near Threatened. Whatever its precise preferences, it appears that the population is small and severely fragmented, and the complete loss of forest patches is likely to be causing an ongoing decline. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Carduelis siemiradzkii is confined to south-west Ecuador (Manabí, Santa Elena, Guayas and Loja) and adjacent north-west Peru (Tumbes). It is uncommon to rare, being considered relatively common in only two areas.

Countries occurrence:
Ecuador; Peru
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:36300
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):750
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  There is no new information on population size or trend, and little is known about threats to the population. However, continuing degradation of natural habitats within the species's range, together with the rarity of field observations of the species, suggest that the population could be in slow decline.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1500-7000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits semi-arid scrub and dry forest, also forest-edge tall grass and scrub, from near sea-level to 750 m. It has also been recorded in grassland and semi-humid forest edge (A. Agreda in litt. 2012). During fieldwork in July-September 1996, it was not encountered within intact forest, and it is reasonably tolerant of heavily disturbed habitats, with records from central Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city (Pople et al. 1997). However, it may depend on deciduous forest during part of its life-cycle. Most localities appear to be close to the forest-arid scrub interface (Ridgely et al. 1998), with the exception of records on the coast of Tumbes, Isla Puná, Guayas and a locality about which there is some confusion - Balzar Mountains, Manabí. Breeding is apparently during the wet season in January-May. It may undertake seasonal or nomadic movements, and may respond to climatic events such as El Niño (Pople et al. 1997). It is generally seen in groups, sometimes as large as 30 individuals (Pople et al. 1997).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):4.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this little-known species are unclear but, if it is dependent on deciduous forest during part of its life-cycle, it is probably seriously threatened by deforestation. Below 900 m, the rate of deforestation in west Ecuador in 1958-1988 was 57% per decade, as a result of clearance for agriculture, and intense grazing by goats and cattle (Dodson and Gentry 1991, Pople et al. 1997). Even if the species is not entirely dependent on deciduous forest during part of its life-cycle, the complete loss of forest patches is still likely to be leading to declines in overall habitat suitability (Dodson and Gentry 1991). Changes in agricultural practice, e.g. pesticide use, could also influence this species if it uses semi-agricultural habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in six protected areas in Ecuador: Machalilla National Park and Pacoche Marine and Coastal Wildlife Refuge in Manabí (Solano et al. 2008), and Cerro Blanco Protection Forest, Guayas, Manglares-Churute Ecological Reserve, National Recreational Area of Parque Lago and Isla Santay National Recreational Area, Guayas (Wege and Long 1995; A. Agreda in litt. 2012). In Peru it is found in the Northwest Peru Biosphere Reserve, Tumbes (Wege and Long 1995).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research its habitat requirements, ecology and distribution and better determine its conservation status based on its dependence on deciduous forest (Dodson and Gentry 1991). Investigate the nature of seasonal or nomadic movements (Dodson and Gentry 1991). Ensure strict management of Machalilla National Park (Dodson and Gentry 1991) and other national reserves in western Ecuador.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Spinus siemiradzkii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22720386A94667715. . Downloaded on 25 April 2018.
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