Charitospiza eucosma 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Emberizidae

Scientific Name: Charitospiza eucosma
Species Authority: Oberholser, 1905
Common Name(s):
English Coal-crested Finch
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 11.5 cm. A delicate but boldly patterned finch. Long spiny crest usually laid back and crown black, contrasting with white cheeks and ear-coverts. Face, throat and mid breast, continued over centre of belly black, contrasting with flanks and belly orangey buff. Silvery grey back; black wings and tail with pale wing coverts. White in base of outer rectrices visible in flight. Female paler with brown tinge above and brown shorter crest. Greyish face, eyebrow and underparts dull cinnamon buff. Similar spp. Male unmistakable, and females pattern plus white in tail does not resemble other finches. Voice Song is a modest 3-syllabled phrase. Inconspicuous thin tzip-tzip call. Hints In pairs or small groups somewhat inconspicuous in the vegetation cover or even on the ground.

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): Milensky, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J
This species is listed as Near Threatened, as it is uncommon and local within its range, and hence has a moderately small population which is likely to be declining owing to habitat loss, as well as the effects of bird trappers.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Charitospiza eucosma occurs in north-east and central Brazil (central Piauí, south Maranhão and south-east Pará south through Goiás, west Bahia and central Minas Gerais to south-east Mato Grosso and central São Paulo) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Sick 1993), north-east Bolivia (Serranía de Huanchaca in Santa Cruz) (Killeen and Schulenberg 1998) and north-east Argentina (single records from Misiones in 1961 and, bizarrely, one recently collected in Tucumán [B. Schmidt and C. Milensky in litt. 1998]). It can be uncommon to fairly common, but has a very local and erratic occurrence (Ridgely and Tudor 1989).

Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 52500
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend Justification:  Slow to moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to habitat loss and trapping for the wild bird trade, although precise data on the nature of these declines are lacking.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits 'cerrado' and 'caatinga' habitats in lowlands (below 1,200 m). It has been observed invading recently burned areas (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Bates et al. 1992), and may engage in local migrations or semi-nomadism in response to fire succession (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Parker and Willis 1997).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 3.8
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, soybeans and pastures for exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) has had a severe impact on its cerrado habitats in Brazil (Parker and Willis 1997). Caatinga habitats are less threatened, but still suffer from agricultural expansion and grazing. At least in Brazil, it is trapped for the cage-bird trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys of sites throughout the known range to determine distribution, abundance, population trends and movements. Campaign for the protection of remaining cerrado habitats.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Charitospiza eucosma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22723036A38117788. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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