Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Thraupidae

Scientific Name: Dacnis nigripes
Species Authority: Pelzeln, 1856
Common Name(s):
English Black-legged Dacnis
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 11 cm. Male turquoise-blue with black throat patch, short eye-stripe and upper mantle. Mostly black wings with broad blue fringes to greater coverts and tertials. Blackish tail. Red iris and dusky legs. Female brownish-olive above, tinged greenish-blue on forecrown, cheeks, scapulars and rump. Dull buffish below. Similar spp. Male Blue Dacnis D. cayana has more extensive black on back and throat, blue fringes to remiges and red legs. Female is bright green with bluish head.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Grantsau, R., Olmos, F., Oniki, Y., Piacentini, V., Whittaker, A. & Willis, E.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Clay, R., Gilroy, J., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J, Williams, R.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small, fragmented population. However, it may be more common than previously thought owing to its close resemblance to Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana.

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

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Dacnis nigripes occurs very sparsely in coastal south-east Brazil, in Espírito Santo (four specimens in 1942, and several recent records), Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná (five recent records), and northern Santa Catarina (recent records from three sites and two old specimens) (do Rosário 1996, E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999, Whittaker et al. 2010). A specimen from Minas Gerais is thought to be a labelling error, but it may possibly occur in the extreme south of the state.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 27400
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: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although uncommon, the species has been found in some of the largest protected expanses of Atlantic Forest and it is felt that it may have been unrecorded due to its resemblance to the much commoner Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana. Given this new information, it seems unlikely that its population is as small as previously estimated. It is now considered to number at least 10,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 6,700 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  Data on precise population trends are lacking, but moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to the continuing degradation of habitats and fragmented nature of the species's population.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 6700 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It has been found in primary and tall secondary lowland and montane Atlantic forest from sea-level to 1,700 m. It appears to move seasonally, or perhaps erratically, between parts of its range, probably the result of irregular wanderings in search of favourite food-plants. The diet comprises berries, seeds, insects and even eucalyptus nectar (R. Grantsau in litt 2003). It is often seen in association with mixed-species flocks, and birds may concentrate locally during certain periods. Breeding takes place from October to February (Whittaker et al. 2010). It nests in second growth adjacent to large tracts of Atlantic Forest, and nest trees tend to harbour large numbers of epiphytes, particularly Usnea (Usneaceae) which is a major component of nests (Whittaker et al. 2010).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 3.7
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by widespread habitat loss throughout its range, and is also at risk from the (illegal) cage-bird trade, which prizes it for its rarity. Trapping may be facilitated by the periodic concentration of individuals.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law. It has been recorded in Desengano, Intervales, Alto do Ribeira, Ilha do Cardoso and Serra do Tabuleiro State Parks, Itatiaia, Serra dos órgãos and Tijuca National Parks, Tinguá Biological Reserve, Ubatuba Experimental Station, Cananéia-Iguape-Peruíbe Environmental Protection Area, and Artex and Spitzkopf Ecological Reserves (Wege and Long 1995, do Rosário 1996).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Investigate seasonal movements. Ensure the de facto protection of reserves in which it occurs. Implement and enforce a complete ban on the capture of wild birds.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Dacnis nigripes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22722985A40005144. . Downloaded on 05 October 2015.
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