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Black-backed Tanager Tangara peruviana
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a complex distribution and undertakes some seasonal movements. Clarification of these will provide an improved understanding of its actual conservation status, but currently populations appear small and fragmented, and are probably declining rapidly in response to extensive habitat loss (Collar et al. 1992). It is consequently listed as Vulnerable.

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

14.5 cm. Distinctively patterned tanager. Bluish-turquoise underparts with pale reddish-brown vent and undertail-coverts. Male has chestnut head and black back. Yellow-buff rump and wing-coverts. Dusky wings with greenish fringes. Female duller and greener, lacks black on back and has dull green wing-coverts. Similar spp. Male Chestnut-backed Tanager T. preciosa has chestnut back. Females are indistinguishable. Voice Thin, metallic whistle pzeee.

Distribution and population
Tangara peruviana occurs in south-east Brazil, in Espírito Santo (Argel-de-Oliveira et al. 1993,  M. M. Argel-de-Oliveira in litt. 2000), Rio de Janeiro (as an austral winter visitor in April-September), São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina (no unequivocal records since the 1930s) and Rio Grande do Sul (G. A. Bencke in litt. 2000, Bencke et al. 2003, Rosa and Agne 2010). It is generally considered not rare within suitable habitat, with periodic local fluctuations in numbers owing to seasonal movements, at least in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Records from Pelotas in Rio Grande do Sul were thought to refer to the closely related T. preciosa, but well documented records from the state confirm T. peruviana (G. A. Bencke in litt. 2000, Bencke et al. 2003, Rosa and Agne 2010). However, records from Buenos Aires and Misiones, Argentina, can be more certainly attributed to T. preciosa.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid population decline is suspected owing to rates of habitat loss and fragmentation within its range.

It is largely restricted to coastal sand-plain forest and littoral scrub (restinga), but has also been found in secondary forest, these records perhaps relating to the presence of fruit-bearing plants, notably species of Melastomataceae (Moraes and Krul 1997). It also visits gardens and orchards of houses close to forested areas (A. De Luca and P. Develey in litt. 2007). Faecal analyses show a predominance of fruit (67% by frequency) in the diet, with some insects and spiders (Moraes and Krul 1997). Seasonal displacements occur in Rio de Janeiro, where its arrival coincides with the ripening of aroeira Schinus fruit. It is also more common in São Paulo during the winter months, and scattered birds appear inland at this time (E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999). All records from Espírito Santo are from the austral winter (M. M. Argel-de-Oliveira in litt. 2000).

It is threatened by the rapid and widespread loss of restinga, largely to beachfront real-estate development and holiday centres. Suitable habitat in both Rio de Janeiro and Paraná is now largely destroyed (P. Martuscelli verbally 1994). Although it occasionally appears in the illegal cage-bird trade, but this relatively minor threat could eventually compound the problem of habitat loss.

Conservation Actions Underway
Small portions of this species's range occur in six protected areas, none of which is supported by effective protection. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to clarify the species's seasonal movements. Publish the recent record from Rio Grande do Sul and re-evaluate other records from the state. Enforce the protection of coastal areas in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Argel-de-Oliveira, M. M.; Scaruda, C. E.; Paccagnella, S. G. 1993. Ocorrência da saira-sapucaia Tangara peruviana (Passeriformes: Thraupinae) no Estado do Espirito Santo.

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.

Moraes, V.; Krul, R. 1997. Notes on the Black-backed Tanager Tangara peruviana (Desmarest, 1806). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 117: 316-318.

Rosa, A. O.; Agne, C. E. 2010. Primeiro registro documentado da saíra-sapucaia Tangara peruviana (Passeriformes: Thraupidae) para o Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Atualidades Ornitológicas: 26.

Further web sources of information
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

Text account compilers
Clay, R., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.

Argel-de-Oliveira, M., Bencke, G., De Luca, A., Develey, P., Martuscelli, P., Oniki, Y., Willis, E.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Tangara peruviana. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 - Black-backed tanager (Tangara peruviana) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Thraupidae (Tanagers)
Species name author (Desmarest, 1806)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 9,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species