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Dark-throated Seedeater Sporophila ruficollis
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 is thought to be experiencing a moderately rapid population decline owing to the combined effects of habitat degradation and persecution for the cagebird trade.

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

Distribution and population
Sporophila ruficollis occurs in Bolivia (Beni, Santa Cruz, La Paz and Tarija), south Brazil (records from south Mato Grosso, south Goiás, west Minas Gerais, west São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay (south-east and even in Chaco), north Uruguay (Artigas and Paysandú) and north Argentina (south to Tucumán, north Córdoba, Santa Fe and rarely to north Buenos Aires) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Armonía 1995, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000). There has been a clear decline in north-east Argentina, where it is also found in scrubbier habitats, not necessarily near water (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Pearman and Abadie 1995, A. S. Di Giácomo in litt. 1999). It is fairly common to common in north Bolivia (Mitchell et al. 1997, Killeen and Schulenberg 1998, R. C. Brace in litt. 1999), and has been found relatively commonly on migration in Concepcíon, north-east Paraguay (R. P. Clay in litt. 2000).

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

Trend justification
Slow to moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to on-going habitat loss, as well as persecution in the wild bird trade.

This species is locally common up to 1,200 m in grasslands and dry savannah.

There has been extensive conversion of grasslands for agriculture and Eucalyptus and Pinus spp. plantations, especially in the south of its range. The use of pesticides and annual burning on adjacent agricultural land have detrimental effects on breeding sites (A. S. Di Giácomo in litt. 1999). Habitat loss compounds the threat from trade by concentrating birds in a few sites easily accessible to trappers (Lowen et al. 1996, A. S. Di Giácomo in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct studies to identify habitat requirements and tolerance of agricultural habitats. Survey known historical locations to determine rates of population decline and range contraction. Monitor the magnitude of trade in this species through bird markets. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable grassland habitat at key sites.

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

Killeen, T. J.; Schulenberg, T. S. 1998. A biological assessment of Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado, Bolivia. Conservation International, Washington, DC.

Lowen, J. C.; Bartrina, L.; Clay, R. P.; Tobias, J. A. 1996. Biological surveys and conservation priorities in eastern Paraguay (the final reports of Projects Canopy '92 and Yacutinga '95). CSB Conservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Mitchell, R. A.; Leigh-Hunt, S.; Stuart, T.; Chamberlain, T. 1997. San Joaquín '96: a biological expedition to the cerrado of Beni Department, Bolivia.

Pearman, M.; Abadie, E. I. Undated. Mesopotamia grasslands and wetlands survey, 1991--1993: conservation of threatened birds and habitat in north-east Argentina.

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

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

Brace, R., Clay, R., Di Giácomo, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Sporophila ruficollis. 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 Cabanis, 1851
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,370,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species