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Pale-throated Pampa-finch Embernagra longicauda
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has been downlisted from Near Threatened because its range is now estimated to be larger than previously thought. It is listed as being of Least Concern on the basis that it does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the Red List criteria.

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

Distribution and population
Embernagra longicauda is known from the Serra do Espinhaco of eastern Brazil (interior central Bahia and Minas Gerais) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Stattersfield et al. 1998). It was also more recently discovered in some isolated ranges in the surrounding region, including Serra da Mombuca (Minas Gerais) and Serra do Caparo (Espirito Santo) (Vasconcelos et al. 2003). It could be more widespread in surrounding ranges than previously thought (Vasconcelos et al. 2003). The species is locally common in Serra do Cipó National Park and in many places along the Espinhaço Range in Minas Gerais and Bahia (Freitas and Rodrigues 2012, G. H. S. Freitas in litt. 2012). However, in some areas, such as the southernmost population at Serra São José (Minas Gerais) and northernmost population at Morro do Chapéu (Bahia), the species is noted to be particularly difficult to find (G. H. S. Freitas in litt. 2012).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
Slow declines are suspected to be occurring, as agricultural development and mining activities are likely to be causing habitat loss and degradation in parts of the species's range.

This species inhabits campo grasslands at 1,300-2,100 m, although little is known of its ecology. It occurs locally in arid montane scrub, dry savanna and agricultural land with scattered palms and ground bromeliads. It occurs at high densities in areas of mixed habitats (Freitas and Rodrigues 2012).

Much of its range was colonised by people when diamonds and gold were found in this region in the 19th century, and small operations persist. Quartz crystals and manganese are also mined. The advance of mining has been noted particularly in the rocky fields of the Espinhaço Range (both in Bahia and Minas Gerais), where most records of this species are located (L. M. Costa in litt. 2012). Increasing conversion of land for cattle ranching is presumably the principal current threat (WWF/IUCN 1997, Stattersfield et al. 1998), but deforestation may be permitting it to expand its range southward (Machado et al. 1998). The species is said to be absent in some modified areas, such as land under fire regimes for livestock grazing (Freitas and Rodrigues 2012), areas of mining activity and eucalyptus plantations (G. H. S. Freitas in litt. 2012). Its occupation of montane habitats may render it susceptible to the effects of future climate change (L. M. Costa in litt. 2012), but this requires investigation.

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in some protected areas, for example Serra do Cipó National Park (Minas Gerais) (Freitas and Rodrigues 2012, L. M. Costa in litt. 2012), and has been the subject of recent research (e.g. Freitas and Rodrigues 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey other montane ranges in surrounding parts of southern and eastern Brazil in order to determine the full extent of the range. Conduct ecological studies to determine habitat requirements and the extent of tolerance of agricultural habitat. Protect areas of suitable habitat.

Ferreira de Vasconcelos, M; Maldonado-Coelho, M; Renato, D; Buzzetti, C. 2003. Range extensions for the Gray-backed Tachuri (Polystictus superciliaris) and the pale-throated Serra-finch (Embernagra longicauda) with a revision on their geographic distribution. . Ornitologia Neotropical 14(4): 477-489.

Freitas, G. H. S.; Rodrigues, M. 2012. Territory Distribution and Habitat Selection of the Serra Finch (Embernagra longicauda) in Serra Do Cipó, Brazil. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124(1): 57-65.

Machado, A. B. M.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Machado, R. B.; Aguiar, L. M. De S.; Lins, L. V. 1998. Livro Vermelho: das espécies ameaçadas de extinça1o da fauna de Minas Gerais. Fundaça1o Biodiversitas, Belo Horizonte.

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

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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

WWF/IUCN. 1997. Centres of plant diversity: the Americas. IUCN, Cambridge, UK.

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 & Taylor, J.

Costa , L. & Freitas, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Embernagra longicauda. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 Least Concern
Family Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)
Species name author Strickland, 1844
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 145,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species