Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Emberizidae

Scientific Name: Sporophila melanogaster
Species Authority: (Pelzeln, 1870)
Common Name(s):
English Black-bellied Seedeater
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

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.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J
This species is considered Near Threatened, as it is thought to be experiencing a moderately rapid population decline owing to habitat loss and degradation, although it remains common in existing areas of suitable habitat.

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 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sporophila melanogaster occurs in west Minas Gerais and south Goiás, south to Rio Grande do Sul, in south-east Brazil. It is locally common in suitable habitats.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 113000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 700
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1100
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' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend Justification:  Slow to moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to habitat loss and degradation, although data on trends 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 is found in grassland habitats at 700-1,100 m and lower altitudes in the non-breeding season (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Parker et al. 1996). It is locally common in tall southern temperate grasslands, freshwater marshes and scrub, and is seasonally numerous (at least November-March) as a breeder in the highlands of Santa Catarina and north-east Rio Grande do Sul (Parker et al. 1996). Although apparently an austral migrant to the north of its range, its non-breeding range is poorly known (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Parker et al. 1996).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.8
Movement patterns: Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is presumably threatened as a result of rapid destruction of its habitat by extensive cattle-ranching, agriculture, invasive grasses, wetland drainage and excessive pesticide use (da Silva 1995, Parker and Willis 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to determine the full extent of the range, particularly during the non-breeding season. Determine its ecological requirements and the extent of tolerance of agricultural habitats. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable grassland habitat at key sites.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Sporophila melanogaster. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22723509A38152691. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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