Microspingus cinereus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Thraupidae

Scientific Name: Microspingus cinereus (Bonaparte, 1851)
Common Name(s):
English Cinereous Warbling-finch, Cinereous Warbling Finch, Cinereous Warbling-Finch
Poospiza cinerea Bonaparte, 1851
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 13 cm. Small, greyish finch. Pale plumbeous upperparts. Loral area slightly darker. Dusky wings and tail, edged grey. Tail with white tip to outer rectrices. White throat and underparts. Blackish bill. Reddish iris. Immature washed brown on head. Similar spp. White-banded Tanager Neothraupis fasciata has obvious black mask and immatures are strongly tinged brown. Voice High-pitched and spirited warbles.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Bornschein, M., Davis, B., Kirwan, G., Lopes, L., Mahood, S., Mazar Barnett, J., Neto, S., Whittaker, A. & de Vasconcelos, M.F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A.
This species is classified as Vulnerable as it is suspected to have suffered a rapid and ongoing decline owing to a reduction in suitable habitat (Collar et al. 1992). Recent information suggests that it may in fact tolerate or even favour degraded areas and if further evidence confirms that this is the case across its range it may be downlisted to Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Microspingus cinereus is scarce and local in interior Brazil. There are recent records from Minas Gerais (Machado et al. 1998, Simon et al. 1999, Lopes et al. 2010, Lombardi et al. 2012), Chapada dos Veadeiros, Emas, Alta Paraiso and Minaçu in Goiás, and near Brasília in Distrito Federal. It may have been extirpated in Mato Grosso (no records since 1904), Mato Grosso do Sul (one record in 1937) and São Paulo (none since 1901). There is evidence that this has always been a rather scarce bird, but the extent of habitat loss indicates suggests that it has probably declined significantly; however recent reports that it is frequent at a number of degraded sites may indicate that it is more numerous than previously believed.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1300000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  This species's population has until recently been suspected to be declining rapidly due to rates of habitat loss, however if further information confirms its apparent tolerance of degraded areas this trend will need to be revised and the species may prove to be stable or even increasing. Suspected declines are precautionarily retained until more data can be obtained.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-15000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It was previously thought to inhabit campo cerrado grasslands and possibly open deciduous woodland but recent reports suggest that it favours degraded areas, including burnt areas of campo rupestre, orchards, old pastures and abandoned mines (M. F. Vasconcelos in litt. 1999, 2007), mostly at 600-1,400 m. It may be semi-nomadic in response to fire succession and is extending its range towards degraded areas in eastern Minas Gerais (M. F. Vasconcelos in litt. 1999, 2007). The only breeding record was in September (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.80
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The combined effects of grazing, invasive grasses, annual burning and conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, soybeans and pastures for exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) (Stotz et al. 1996, Parker and Willis 1997) had heavily or moderately altered two-thirds of the Cerrado region by 1993 (Conservation International 1999), with most of the destruction having occurred since 1950 (Cavalcanti 1999). Mining activities are reportedly affecting habitat in the south Cadeia do Espinhaço (M. F. Vasconcelos in litt. 1999, 2007). However, recent information indicates that this species not only persists in, but may in fact favour, modified habitats such as degraded and burnt cerrado, orchards, old pastures and abandoned mines (M. F. Vasconcelos in litt. 1999, 2007). In the Atlantic Forest region of eastern Minas Gerais the species appears to be extending its range as the amount of degraded habitat increases (M. F. Vasconcelos in litt. 1999, 2007). Brood-parasitism by Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis has been recorded in the Serra do Cipó and will presumably increase with conversion to pastures (Simon et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law and occurs in Emas, Brasília, Serra do Cipó and Chapada dos Veadeiros National Parks, Peti Reserve, Serra do Brigadeiro State Park and Mangabeiras Park (Machado et al. 1998, M. Bornschein per J. Mazar Barnett in litt. 1999, Simon et al. 1999, A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey areas with historical records and any additional habitat fragments. Determine its tolerance of degraded habitats across its range. Study to determine the likely causes of its scarcity. Protect known sites in west Minas Gerais. Reverse the aspects of government land reforms that encourage habitat loss.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map updated. Edited Geographic Range Information text.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Microspingus cinereus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22723301A119467237. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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