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Masked Saltator Saltator cinctus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This rare and local species is listed as Near Threatened as it is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range owing to habitat destruction.

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

Distribution and population
Saltator cinctus is known from very few localities, but is found on both slopes of the central Andes in Colombia (Quindío and Tolima [B. López-Lanús in litt. 1999]), and on the east slope in south Ecuador (Morona-Santiago, Loja and west Napo) and north-central Peru (Piura, Cajamarca, Amazonas and Huánuco) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Renjifo 1991a). It is rare and local within this highly disjunct range.

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
Slow to moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to habitat loss throughout the range, although precise data on the magnitude of these trends are lacking.

This species occurs in the canopy of montane evergreen and elfin forest, at 1,700-3,100 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Parker et al. 1996). It has been observed in dense stands of Chusquea bamboo in Peru and Ecuador (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), but recent records from Colombia (Renjifo 1991a) and Ecuador (Tobias and Williams 1996) suggest a much stronger association with Podocarpus oleifolius, which tends to comprise a very small proportion of total primary forest (less than 10% in Alto Quindío, Colombia), and is very slow growing and heavily logged (Renjifo 1991a). In Ecuador, it undertakes non-seasonal movements, perhaps in response to changes in the availability of Podocarpus cones (Tobias and Williams 1996). This association consequently makes the status of S. cinctus extremely uncertain.

The principal Podocarpus forests of Ecuador are in Loja, the most deforested Andean province (Renjifo 1991a); and the montane forests of the north Andes are generally under intense threat from conversion to agriculture and cattle pasture, mining and logging (Dinerstein et al. 1995). The only known localities in Colombia are on the most deforested cordillera.

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct detailed studies of habitat requirements and tolerance of disturbance. Repeat surveys of known sites in order to determine rates of range contraction and population decline. Effectively protect large areas of suitable forest at sites with a high density of Podocarpus oleifolius, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.

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.

Fjeldså, J.; Krabbe, N. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. Apollo Books, Copenhagen.

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.

Renjifo, L. M. 1991. Discovery of the Masked Saltator in Colombia, with notes on its ecology and behaviour. Wilson Bulletin 103: 685-690.

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.

Tobias, J. A.; Williams, R. S. R. 1996. Notes on the behaviour of the Masked Saltator in southern Ecuador. The Auk 113: 942-944.

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
Gilroy, J., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C J

López-Lanús, B.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Saltator cinctus. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Cardinalidae (Grosbeaks, saltators and allies)
Species name author Zimmer, 1943
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 70,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species