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Blue Finch Porphyrospiza caerulescens
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

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.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Passerina caerulescens Stotz et al. (1996), Passerina caerulescens BirdLife International (2004)

Distribution and population
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).

Population justification
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.

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).

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 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.

Armonía. 1995. Lista de las aves de Bolivia. Armonía, Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Cavalcanti, R. B. 1999. Bird species richness and conservation in the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Studies in Avian Biology 19: 244-249.

Conservation International. 1999. Açoes prioritárias para a conservaçao da biodiversidade do Cerrado e Pantanal.

da Silva, J. M. C. 1995. Birds of the Cerrado Region, South America. Steenstrupia 21: 69-92.

Parker, T. A.; Rocha, O. 1991. Notes on the status and behaviour of the Rusty-necked Piculet Picumnus fuscus. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 111: 91-92.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Parker, T. A.; Willis, E. O. 1997. Notes on three tiny grassland flycatchers, with comments on the disappearance of South American fire-diversified savannas. Ornithological Monographs 48: 549-555.

Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. 1989. The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Porphyrospiza caerulescens. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)
Species name author (Wied, 1830)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,530,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species