Blue-and-gold Tanager Bangsia arcaei


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small range and population, which are both thought to be in decline owing to the clearance and degradation of its habitat. The population is comprised of subpopulations that are unlikely to be much larger than 1,000 mature individuals. For these reasons, the species is classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The population estimate for Costa Rican Important Bird Areas is 2,500-3,900 mature individuals (J. Criado et al. in litt. 2007; Sánchez et al. 2009), implying that there are fewer than 10,000 mature individuals in total, thus the population is placed in the band for 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, probably equivalent to a total population of 3,700-15,000 individuals. The population structure is unknown, but it is tentatively assumed that the species forms several small, disjunct subpopulations (see eBird 2020).

Trend justification
A slow to moderate population decline is suspected based on rates of habitat loss within the species's range.

Distribution and population

Bangsia arcaei occurs in three disjunct populations: on the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica from extreme south-east Guanacaste to Cartago; in central Bocas del Toro, central Chiriquí, Veraguas, and Coclé, Panama; and in the Cerro Jefe/Cerro Brewster area of east Panamá province and extreme west San Blas, Panama (Ridgely and Gywnne 1989; Isler and Isler 1999). It has also been reported from the Serranía del Darién in Colombia (per Donegan et al. 2011; O. Cortes in litt. 2011; Renjifo et al. 2017). Its range probably includes the serranías de San Blas and del Darién in Panama (Ridgely and Gywnne 1989), the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica (F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999), and contiguous mountains in west Panama, but it has yet to be recorded in these areas (Ridgely and Gywnne 1989; Stiles and Skutch 1989; F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999).


This species is found in lowland and montane evergreen forest, forest edges and gaps at elevations of 300-1,500 m, but mostly at 700-1,050 m (Ridgely and Gywnne 1989; Stiles and Skutch 1989). It typically forages in the canopy, feeding on fruit, insects and spiders, and occasionally extracting nectar by removing and damaging flowers (Isler and Isler 1999). It has been observed to nest in moss clumps. Breeding has been noted in April in Costa Rica and July in Panama (Isler and Isler 1999).


There has been widespread destruction of its foothill and montane forests, primarily as a result of burning, logging and other conversion leading to intensive agricultural use (Dinerstein et al. 1995), and intact habitat is now patchy (F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999). The species's range in Costa Rica is now regarded as fairly well protected (Unión de Ornitólogos de Costa Rica in litt. 2011). However, areas around Cerro Jefe in Panama have been partially deforested despite being in national parks (Dinerstein et al. 1995). The Caribbean slope in Panama was still extensively forested in the mid-1990s (Harcourt and Sayer 1996); however, since 2000, severe deforestation is reported to have been taking place within perhaps half of the species's range in Panama and has now reached the continental divide in some areas (G. Angehr in litt. 2011). Forest loss throughout this species's total range is currently estimated at ~1.3% across a ten year period (Tracewski et al. 2016). In addition, this species's narrow altitudinal range is likely to render it susceptible to the effects of projected climate change (G. Angehr in litt. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in several protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to assess its total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation throughout its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status. Carry out further research into the species's ecology.



Text account compilers
Everest, J.

Biamonte, E., Capper, D., Criado, J., O'Brien, A., Sandoval, L., Stiles, F.G., Sánchez, C., Sánchez, J., Taylor, J. & Zook, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Bangsia arcaei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2022.