Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Emberizidae

Scientific Name: Porphyrospiza caerulescens
Species Authority: (Wied, 1830)
Common Name(s):
English Blue Finch, Yellow-billed Blue Finch
Passerina caerulescens caerulescens BirdLife International (2004)
Passerina caerulescens caerulescens Stotz et al. (1996)
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., Sharpe, C J
This species is listed as Near Threatened, as it has become rare and local in many formerly occupied areas, and is likely to be declining moderately rapidly owing to the conversion of its cerrado habitats for agriculture.

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: Porphyrospiza caerulescens occurs in the interior of north-east and central Brazil (from south-east Pará and south Maranhão to Piauí, west Bahia, Tocantins, Goiás, Districto Federal, west and central Minas Gerais and south Mato Grosso), and east Bolivia (Beni, Santa Cruz and possibly Chuquisaca) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Sick 1993, Armonía 1995). It is uncommon, patchily distributed and apparently declining. It has become very rare and local in Brazil but is apparently more numerous in Bolivia, where 5,000 individuals were estimated at Cerro San Simón, west Beni, in 1990 (Parker and Rocha 1991).

Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1530000
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): 600
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 and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend Justification:  Moderate population declines are suspected owing to the paucity of recent records from many historical sites, as well as the continuing loss of suitable habitats as a result of agricultural conversion.
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 occurs at 600-1,100 m in campo cerrado, and particularly campo rupestre (Parker and Rocha 1991, da Silva 1995, Parker et al. 1996).

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, soybeans and pasture for exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) have severely impacted its habitat, particularly in Brazil (Parker and Willis 1997). Two thirds of cerrado habitat had been extensively or significantly modified by 1993 (Conservation International 1999), with most destruction having occurred since 1950 (Cavalcanti 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed

Repeat surveys of occupied areas to determine population trends and rates of range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to identify precise habitat requirements and elucidate causes of declines. Effectively protect large areas of suitable habitat.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Porphyrospiza caerulescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22723966A38263223. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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