Sporophila maximiliani 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Thraupidae

Scientific Name: Sporophila maximiliani Cabanis, 1851
Common Name(s):
English Great-billed Seed-finch, Great-billed Seed Finch, Great-billed Seed-Finch
Oryzoborus maximiliani Cabanis, 1851
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Taxonomic Notes:

Sporophila maximiliani (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) was previously placed in the genus Oryzoborus following SACC (2005 & updates); Sibley & Monroe (1990, 1993); Stotz et al. (1996).


Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): De Luca, A., Olmos, F., Rheindt, F., Salaman, P. & Costa, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C.J., Taylor, J., Ashpole, J, Wheatley, H.
This species is considered to have a very small population that is declining owing to intensive trapping and the loss and degradation of its habitats. For these reasons it is listed as Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has a very disjunct range in northern Bolivia (one locality), eastern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, lower Amazonian Brazil and eastern and southern Brazil. It is very local and rare throughout its range (Restall et al. 2006), but can be common in suitable habitats, and has been noted to be fairly common in savannas near Trinidad in Beni department, Bolivia (F. Rheindt in litt. 2012). There have been very few records from eastern and southern brazil in recent years, with records of one or two individuals observed at just five locations in the states of Goiás, Bahia, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul (MMA 2014). Extensive searches by ornithologists have revealed the species to be extremely rare (F. Ubaid in litt. 2017).
Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:7740000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme 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):1100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species has a very large extent of occurrence, but there are very few recent records from much of its range. The population in Brazil has been estimated to not exceed 250 mature individuals, with no more than 50 in each subpopulation (MMA 2014). The total population is therefore suspected to number less than 2,500 mature individuals, placed here in the band 1000-2499 mature individuals, with less than 250 mature individuals in each subpopulation.

Trend Justification:  This species is suspected to be experiencing a rapid population decline as it has become rare in many parts of its range and is known to suffer high levels of persecution for the cage-bird trade, as well as habitat loss and degradation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000-2499Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is very local and patchily distributed. It occurs in riparian thickets, freshwater marshes and second-growth scrub to 1,100 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Stotz et al. 1996). It has been noted to be fairly common in savanna habitat in Bolivia, including degraded areas by roads, as well as abandoned urban property (F. Rheindt in litt. 2012). However, the identity of these birds should be confirmed (Lane 2014).

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
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): The principal threat is the depletion of local populations by cage-bird trappers (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Olmos 1993, Stotz et al. 1996, F. Olmos in litt. 2017), and this activity has caused it to vanish from most of its former range in Brazil. Habitat loss and degradation, as a result of conversion to agriculture and plantations, is also likely to contribute to declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is considered Critically Endangered at the national level in Brazil (Silveira and Straube 2008, MMA 2014). The species has been recorded in Emas National Park, Brazil (A. Monteiro per F. Olmos in litt. 2004, A. de Luca in litt. 2010). There are at least two reintroduction schemes, in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, but the results are not yet known (F. Olmos in litt. 2017).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Repeat surveys of known sites to determine rates of population decline. Monitor the abundance of this species in the wild bird trade. Regulate the capture of the species as a cage-bird.  The significant captive population in Brazil may be used for future reintroductions but breeders are often unwilling to release birds because they are very valuable, attaining high market prices (F. Olmos in litt. 2017).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Sporophila maximiliani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22723537A118849676. . Downloaded on 19 March 2018.
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