Black-and-tawny Seedeater Sporophila nigrorufa


Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - C2a(ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2016 Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;C2a(i)
2012 Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;C2a(i)
2008 Vulnerable A2c; A3c; A4c; C2a(i)
2006 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type land-mass type - continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 160,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 263,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 2500-9999 poor estimated 2000
Population trend decreasing poor inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 1-19 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 1-19 - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 100 - - -

Population justification: The species is rare and local. The majority of the population is found breeding in Flor de Oro in Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Breeding and several flocks of up to 60-70 birds have been recorded in October-December and several hundred have been estimated in late May, but very few individuals have been found in July-October (S. Davis in litt. 1995, 1999). A population of around six pairs rearing 6-10 juveniles per year occurs near San Ignacio de Velasco, Santa Cruz, in the wet season (S. Davis in litt. 1995, 1999). East of Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade, Mato Grosso, 55 presumably breeding birds were counted in January 1988 (Willis and Oniki 1990), at least 100 non-breeding condition birds were present in July 1997 (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999), 100-200 in August 2007, and 100 in June 2008 (Kirwan and Areta 2009).
A local density of 2 individuals/km2 was estimated at Los Fierros, Noel Kempff Mercado, Bolivia, from numbers of adult males seen in August-September (Pearce-Higgins 1996). An extrapolation of this density to the occupied area in Brazil led to a national population estimate of 5,480 mature individuals (ICMBio 2018). Brazil comprises roughly half of the global range. The majority of the population in Brazil appears to be resident birds and non-breeding visitors from Bolivia; consequently, to account for migratory individuals, the global population is assessed as substantially less than double the population in Brazil. It is here tentatively placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals (see also Willis and Oniki 1990; S. Davis in litt. 1995, 1999; Pearce-Higgins 1996; L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999).The subpopulation structure has not been investigated, but due to its migratory nature the species is tentatively assessed as forming one subpopulation (see also ICMBio 2018).

Trend justification: Extensive tracts of the species's habitat are converted rapidly for agriculture. Its preference for seasonally flooded grassland with scattered bushes and trees and avoidance of converted and disturbed areas make it highly susceptible to the clearance and conversion of these habitats, and therefore the species is inferred to undergo a continuing decline (Ergueta and de Morales 1996; ICMBio 2018; Jaramillo and Sharpe 2020). The rate of decline has not been quantified, but it is unlikely to exceed 20% over ten years.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Bolivia extant native yes yes yes
Brazil extant native yes yes yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Bolivia Noel Kempff Mercado
Bolivia Reserva Forestal Alto Paraguá
Brazil Campos do Encanto
Brazil Rios Negro e Aquidauana

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Sporophila nigrorufa. Downloaded from on 07/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/06/2023.