email a friend
printable version
Cherry-throated Tanager Nemosia rourei
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
BirdLife Species Guardian SAVE Brasil
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species qualifies as Critically Endangered owing to its extremely small range and population in a single area. Populations may occur in other areas, but these are likely to be small and declining.

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

14 cm. Strikingly plumaged tanager. Silvery-white crown grades to grey in rest of upperparts. Black wings and tail. Black forehead and broad mask. White underparts with conspicuous, bright red throat and bib. Orangey iris and pinky legs. Voice Complex series of thin warbles, and double-whistle calls.

Distribution and population
The species is currently known from Espírito Santo, Brazil, where small numbers have been recorded in Fazenda Pindobas IV since its rediscovery there in 1998, and in the Mata do Caetés area, Vargem Alta municipality, where up to nine individuals were recorded during visits in 2003-2007 (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999, 2012, Bauer et al. 2000, Venturini et al. 2002, Venturini et al. 2005) and there were further records in 2010, 2012 and 2013 (WikiAves 2013). Until its rediscovery, it was only definitely known from the 19th century type-specimen collected at Muriaé, Minas Gerais (though it has been hypothesised that this locality was actually Macaé in Rio de Janeiro [Pacheco 1999]), and a 1941 sighting of eight birds in Itarana municipality, Espírito Santo. Other sites are Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve (Santa Teresa) and Santa Maria de Jetibá/Itarana montane areas, and there is a probable sighting from Fazenda Pedra Bonita, Minas Gerais (Bauer et al. 2000). However, subsequent surveys at the latter site have not been successful (Bauer et al. 2000). The general paucity of records must be a reflection of this species's extreme rarity and very patchy distribution; for example, during one year of recent research into its ecology, only 11 records were obtained.

Population justification
This species has now been recorded from three locations with a minimum of 14 individuals known from Pindobas IV and Mata do Caetés, and confirmation that it occurs in Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve. Additional forest occurs adjacent to these known sites which requires further survey work; hence the population is estimated at 50-249 individuals. This equates to 33-166 mature individuals, rounded here to 30-200 mature individuals. However, if further work either locates the species at additional sites or supports the assertion of Venturini et al. (2005) that the population may number fewer than 50 individuals, this estimate will require revision.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining at a rate of 10-19% over 11 years (three generations), as a result of ongoing forest clearance owing to conversion to coffee plantations, mining activities and subsistence usage.

It occurs primarily in the canopy of humid montane forest at elevations of 850-1,250 m (Bauer et al. 2000, Venturini et al. 2002, P. Develey in litt. 2007, 2008). The type-locality, Muriaé (if correct [Pacheco 1999]), is at 210 m. Altitudinal movements are plausible but the species is apparently resident at Fazenda Pindobas IV (Bauer et al. 2000) and in Vargem Alta municipality (P. Develey in litt. 2007, 2008). Birds forage in the interior of the crowns of tall trees, occasionally lower towards the forest edge (Bauer et al. 2000), and appear to favour moss and lichen-encrusted branches (Bauer et al. 2000). Between one and ten individuals are typically found together and it is associated with mixed-species flocks having been recorded with over 30 different species (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999, Bauer et al. 2000, Venturini et al. 2002, Venturini et al. 2005, P. Develey in litt. 2007, 2008). Individual birds have been observed apparently acting as sentries for conspecifics within a flock (Venturini et al. 2005). The diet is reportedly arthropods (Bauer et al. 2000). Nest-building has been observed in late November (Venturini et al. 2002). It has been recorded living to over six years of age (Venturini et al. 2005).

Extensive deforestation within its range must have had an impact on this species. Forest within Itarana where the species was recorded in 1941 has since been reduced to a number of small fragments. However, the species has been recorded in Eucalyptus spp. and Pinus spp. plantations using this suboptimal habitat while moving between fragments. Threats associated with the loss of forest include quarrying of limestone, granite and marble, illegal palm extraction, the expansion of coffee plantations, small-scale firewood-cutting, and larger-scale timber-cutting, including for charcoal production (Hilty 2011).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law. The owners of Fazenda Pindobas IV have expressed interest in protecting the remaining native forest on their property (Venturini et al. 2002). The site of the 1941 record in Itarana is listed as an IBA owing to its importance for Atlantic forest endemics. Searches for the species have been conducted in other parts of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states (Venturini et al. 2005). A research project into the species's ecology was recently completed, and there is an Action Plan for the long-term conservation of the species (P. Develey in litt. 2007, 2008). In 2010 a 37,000 ha corridor was designated for the species with an objective to connect forest remnants through the development of forest conservation and restoration actions, promotion of sustainable activities and adequate soil management (BirdLife International 2010). Work is underway to create a Wildlife Refuge and private reserve encompassing known localities and connecting Forno Grande and Pedra Azul State Parks. The promotion of ecotourism in the area is ongoing (P. Develey in litt. 2014, SAVE Brasil 2015). Awareness-raising activities have also been conducted (P. Develey in litt. 2015, SAVE Brasil 2015).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Monitor the population at Pindobas IV and Mata do Caetés (Anon. 2007). Survey the montane region of south Espírito Santo, and adjacent Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, concentrating on elevations between 850 and 1,250 m and those sites which have previously been identified as potentially suitable for the species. Research ecology and seasonal abundance. Promote the creation of a Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural at the private farms where the species occurs (Anon. 2007). Raise awareness of environmental issues among local communities. Study alternative agricultural and wood production systems (Anon. 2007).

Anon. 2007. Action plan for long-term conservation of the species Nemosia rourei.

Bauer, C.; Pacheco, J. F.; Venturini, A. C.; Whitney, B. M. 2000. Rediscovery of the Cherry-throated Tanager Nemosia rourei in southern Espírito Santo, Brazil. Bird Conservation International 10: 97-108.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Hilty, S. 2011. Cherry-throated Tanager (Nemosia rourei). In: J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D.A. Christie and E. de Juana (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Pacheco, J. F. 1999. É de minas gerais o exemplar único e original de Nemosia rourei? Atualidades Ornitológicas 89: 7.

SAVE Brasil. 2015. Cherry-throated Tanager Nemosia rourei Progress Report. BirdLife International Preventing Extinctions Programme.

Scott, D. A. 1997. A possible re-sighting of the Cherry-throated Tanager Nemosia rourei in Espírito Santo, Brazil. Cotinga: 61-63.

Venturini, A. C.; Paz, P. R.; Kirwan, G. M. 2002. First breeding data for Cherry-throated Tanager Nemosia rourei. Cotinga 17: 42-45.

Venturini, A.C.; Rogerio de Paz, P.; Kirwan, G.M. 2005. A new locality and records of Cherry-throated Tanager Nemosia rourei in Espirito Santo, south-east Brazil, with fresh natural history data for the species. Cotinga 24: 60-70.

WikiAves. 2013. Saíra-apunhalada. Available at: (Accessed: 01/10/2013).

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

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

Species Guardian Action Update

Text account compilers
Bird, J., Clay, R., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R., Wright, L & Ashpole, J

Develey, P. & Kirwan, G.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Nemosia rourei. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Cherry-throated tanager (Nemosia rourei) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Thraupidae (Tanagers)
Species name author Cabanis, 1870
Population size 30-200 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 31 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species