Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Thraupidae

Scientific Name: Tangara peruviana
Species Authority: (Desmarest, 1806)
Common Name(s):
English Black-backed Tanager, Black-cheeked Tanager
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 14.5 cm. Distinctively patterned tanager. Bluish-turquoise underparts with pale reddish-brown vent and undertail-coverts. Male has chestnut head and black back. Yellow-buff rump and wing-coverts. Dusky wings with greenish fringes. Female duller and greener, lacks black on back and has dull green wing-coverts. Similar spp. Male Chestnut-backed Tanager T. preciosa has chestnut back. Females are indistinguishable. Voice Thin, metallic whistle pzeee.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Argel-de-Oliveira, M., Bencke, G., De Luca, A., Develey, P., Martuscelli, P., Oniki, Y. & Willis, E.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Clay, R., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.
This species has a complex distribution and undertakes some seasonal movements. Clarification of these will provide an improved understanding of its actual conservation status, but currently populations appear small and fragmented, and are probably declining rapidly in response to extensive habitat loss (Collar et al. 1992). It is consequently listed as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (EN)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Tangara peruviana occurs in south-east Brazil, in Espírito Santo (Argel-de-Oliveira et al. 1993,  M. M. Argel-de-Oliveira in litt. 2000), Rio de Janeiro (as an austral winter visitor in April-September), São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina (no unequivocal records since the 1930s) and Rio Grande do Sul (G. A. Bencke in litt. 2000, Bencke et al. 2003, Rosa and Agne 2010). It is generally considered not rare within suitable habitat, with periodic local fluctuations in numbers owing to seasonal movements, at least in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Records from Pelotas in Rio Grande do Sul were thought to refer to the closely related T. preciosa, but well documented records from the state confirm T. peruviana (G. A. Bencke in litt. 2000, Bencke et al. 2003, Rosa and Agne 2010). However, records from Buenos Aires and Misiones, Argentina, can be more certainly attributed to T. preciosa.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 9400
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 600
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 mature 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 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  A rapid population decline is suspected owing to rates of habitat loss and fragmentation within its range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is largely restricted to coastal sand-plain forest and littoral scrub (restinga), but has also been found in secondary forest, these records perhaps relating to the presence of fruit-bearing plants, notably species of Melastomataceae (Moraes and Krul 1997). It also visits gardens and orchards of houses close to forested areas (A. De Luca and P. Develey in litt. 2007). Faecal analyses show a predominance of fruit (67% by frequency) in the diet, with some insects and spiders (Moraes and Krul 1997). Seasonal displacements occur in Rio de Janeiro, where its arrival coincides with the ripening of aroeira Schinus fruit. It is also more common in São Paulo during the winter months, and scattered birds appear inland at this time (E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999). All records from Espírito Santo are from the austral winter (M. M. Argel-de-Oliveira in litt. 2000).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.9
Movement patterns: Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by the rapid and widespread loss of restinga, largely to beachfront real-estate development and holiday centres. Suitable habitat in both Rio de Janeiro and Paraná is now largely destroyed (P. Martuscelli verbally 1994). Although it occasionally appears in the illegal cage-bird trade, but this relatively minor threat could eventually compound the problem of habitat loss.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Small portions of this species's range occur in six protected areas, none of which is supported by effective protection.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to clarify the species's seasonal movements. Publish the recent record from Rio Grande do Sul and re-evaluate other records from the state. Enforce the protection of coastal areas in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Tangara peruviana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22722890A38130567. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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