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Turquoise Dacnis Dacnis hartlaubi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a highly disjunct and poorly understood range. It is very close to qualifying as Endangered, because the known range is very small and presumably declining (with possibly some local extirpations) in response to continuing habitat loss (Collar et al. 1992). However, it has been recorded at more than five locations and exhibits some habitat tolerance. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

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

Pseudodacnis hartlaubi Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

11 cm. Short-billed dacnis with bright male plumage. Male blue with black mask (except blue eye-ring), throat, mantle, tail and wings (except blue scapulars and tertial fringes). Female dull brown above, greyer on head, with buff fringes to tertials and scapulars. Greyish below, yellowish on median breast and belly. Both sexes have yellow irides. Similar spp. Female similar to Black-faced Dacnis D. lineata, but is less olive above, buffier below and shows marked wing edgings. Tangara spp. have dark irides. Female Hemithraupis spp. are yellower below. Voice A very high monotonic metallic squeak.

Distribution and population
Dacnis hartlaubi has a restricted and disjunct distribution in all three Andean ranges in Colombia. It has been recorded from Valle de Cauca, Huila (Renjifo et al. 2002), Quindío, Antioquia (Botero and Verhelst 2001), Risaralda (Renjifo et al. 2002), Cundinamarca and Boyacá. The Serranía de las Quinchas, Boyacá, may hold a significant population (Stiles et al. 1999), but the only other post-1980 records are from several localities in the río Bogotá drainage, west-central Cundinamarca (although the east slopes of Cundinamarca where it was collected in 1912 are ornithologically poorly known [Stiles 1992]), two sites in Támesis, Antioquia (Botero and Verhelst 2001), and one site in Risaralda (Renjifo et al. 2002). It is rare and likely to be declining.

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 (e.g. the lower quartile of such estimates spans 1-3.6 individuals/km2) and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. The estimate equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A slow and on-going population decline is suspected, based on rates of habitat loss within the species's range.

It inhabits humid lower montane forest and edge, especially shade coffee and cocoa plantations (especially where Inga spp. and Cordia alliodora are commonest) bordering patches of secondary vegetation in Antioquia (Botero and Verhelst 2001,), and clearings with scattered trees. On the west slope of the West Andes it has been recorded as low as 300 m, but mostly occurs at 1,350-2,200 m. Fruit and insects probably form the bulk of its diet (Stiles 1992). A male in breeding condition was collected in August in Cundinamarca.

There is continuing clearance of suitable humid forests for agriculture, coffee-growing and human settlement. In central-west Cundinamarca and on the upper slopes of the Cauca valley (Quindío and Valle del Cauca), centuries of cultivation have left only remnant forest patches (Wege and Long 1995, Stiles et al. 1999). Colonisation and conversion of the Andean slopes in the middle Magdalena valley to cultivated and pastural land reached a peak in the 1970s, probably affecting any subpopulations between west Cundinamarca and the Serranía de las Quinchas (itself the largest remaining block of wet forest in the region [Stiles et al. 1999]). However, many areas have since been abandoned and become successional habitats (Stiles et al. 1999). The population in Valle del Cauca is bisected by the Cali-Buenaventura highway, and thus threatened by agricultural expansion (Salaman and Stiles 1996).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in San Antonio de Tequendama Reserve (Wege and Long 1995), Cerro Quinini (Cundinamarca), Soata IBA (Boyaca), Parque Natural Tatama (Cortes in litt. 2011) and the lower elevations of the Yariguies national park as well ProAves' El Paujil, Pauxi pauxi and Cerulean warbler reserves (T. Donegan in litt. 2011). It has been recorded in Yotoco Forest Reserve (5.6 km2), but not by recent surveys (Silva Arias 1996, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). The Valle del Cauca localities are close to Farallones de Cali National Park. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further field surveys to better assess its population and distribution, notably in the Serranía de las Quinchas (Stiles et al. 1999), but also in east Cundinamarca (Stiles 1992). Research its ecological requirements to determine the extent to which primary forest is necessary to maintain viable populations and understand its occurrence in some shade-tree plantations. Protect Laguna de Pedropalo, Cundinamarca, and its adjoining forest (Renjifo et al. 2002).

Botero, J. E.; Verhelst, J. C. 2001. Turquoise Dacnis Dacnis hartlaubi: further evidence of use of shade coffee plantations. Cotinga 15: 24-36.

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.

Renjifo, L. M.; Franco-Maya, A. M.; Amaya-Espinel, J. D.; Kattan, G. H.; López-Lans, B. 2002. Libro rojo de aves de Colombia. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt y Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Bogot, Colombia.

Salaman, P. G. W.; Stiles, F. G. 1996. A distinctive new species of vireo (Passeriformes: Vireonidae) from the Western Andes of Colombia. Ibis 138: 610-619.

Silva Arias, L. 1996. Biologia de Penelope perspicax (Aves: Cracidae) en la reserva forestal de Yotoco, Valle del Cauca.

Stiles, F. G. 1992. A new species of antpitta (Formicariidae: Grallaria) from the Eastern Andes of Colombia. Wilson Bulletin 104: 389-399.

Stiles, F. G.; Rosselli, L.; Bohórquez, C. I. 1999. New and noteworthy records of birds from the middle Magdalena valley of Colombia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 119: 113-129.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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
Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Salaman, P., Cortes, O., Verhelst, J., Donegan, T.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Dacnis hartlaubi. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 - Turquoise dacnis (Dacnis hartlaubi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Thraupidae (Tanagers)
Species name author (Sclater, 1855)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 140 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species