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Blackish-blue Seedeater Amaurospiza moesta
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 suspected to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range as a result of habitat loss and degradation.

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

Taxonomic note
Recent mitochondrial genetic data show that the genus Amaurospiza is not a member of the Emberizidae and instead indicate strong support for placement in the Cardinalidae (AOU 2009, SACC 2008).

Distribution and population
Amaurospiza moesta occurs in south-east Brazil (south Espírito Santo, south-east Minas Gerais, east São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, north Rio Grande do Sul, and Tocantins, with one historical record from south Maranhão), east Paraguay (Canindeyú, Caazapá, Itapúa and Alto Paraná) and north-east Argentina (Misiones) (Storer 1989, Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Brooks et al. 1993, Sick 1993, Lowen et al. 1996, Pacheco et al. 2007). In Brazil, it is relatively common in the Serra do Mar and Paraná (F. C. Straube in litt. 1991), but very local elsewhere (Ridgely and Tudor 1989). In Argentina, it is locally common, especially in the highlands (Benstead et al. 1993, J. Mazar Barnett in litt. 1999), but it is rare in Paraguay, even at the few sites where it has been recorded (Storer 1989, Brooks et al. 1993, Lowen et al. 1996, Madroño and Esquivel 1997).

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

Trend justification
Although data on trends are lacking, slow to moderate population declines are suspected owing to continuing habitat loss and degradation within parts of the range.

This species inhabits lowland and montane Atlantic forest up to 1,600 m. It is particularly found where there is extensive Chusquea or Guadua spp. bamboo stands (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Lowen et al. 1996, Parker et al. 1996) but is possibly less dependent on bamboo flowerings than Temminck's Seedeater Sporophila falcirostris (F. C. Straube in litt. 1991, Lowen et al. 1996).

There are still extensive tracts of montane forest, particularly in São Paulo, but lowland Atlantic forest has been severely degraded and is now threatened by urbanisation, industrialisation, agricultural expansion, colonisation and associated road-building (Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor populations at known sites to determine population trends and rates of range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to determine precise habitat requirements and levels of tolerance of habitat degradation and fragmentation. Grant protection to areas of suitable habitat.

Benstead, P. J.; Heam, R. D.; Jeffs, C. J. S.; Callaghan, D. A.; Calo, J.; Gil, G.; Johnson, A. E.; Stagi Nedelcoff, A. R. 1993. "Pato Serrucho 93" An expedition to assess the current status of the Brazilian Merganser Mergus octosetaceus in North-east Argentina.

Brooks, T. M.; Barnes, R.; Bartrina, L.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Clay, R. P.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Etcheverry, N. I.; Lowen, J. C.; Vincent, J. 1993. Bird surveys and conservation in the Paraguayan Atlantic forest: Project CANOPY '92 final report. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

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.

Madroño, N.A. and Esquivel, E.Z. 1997. Noteworthy records and range extensions of some birds from the Reserva Natural del Bosque Mbaracayú (Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve), Departamento de Canindeyú, Paraguay. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 117: 166-176.

Pacheco, J. F.; Olmos, F.; do Prado, A. D.; Serpa, G. A.; Endrigo, E. 2007. Sobre a ocorrência de Amaurospiza moesta (Hartlaub, 1853) no estado do Tocantins. Atualidades Ornitológicas: 10-11.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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

Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Storer, R. W. 1989. Notes on Paraguayan birds. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 719.

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

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J

Mazar Barnett, J., Straube, F.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Amaurospiza moesta. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 - Blackish-blue seedeater (Amaurospiza moesta) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Cardinalidae (Grosbeaks, saltators and allies)
Species name author (Hartlaub, 1853)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 605,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species