Blue Finch Porphyrospiza caerulescens


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened, as it has become rare and local in many formerly occupied areas, and is likely to be declining moderately rapidly owing to the conversion of its cerrado habitats for agriculture.

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

Trend justification
Moderate population declines are suspected owing to the paucity of recent records from many historical sites, as well as the continuing loss of suitable habitats as a result of agricultural conversion.

Distribution and population

Porphyrospiza caerulescens occurs in the interior of north-east and central Brazil (from south-east Pará and south Maranhão to Piauí, west Bahia, Tocantins, Goiás, Districto Federal, west and central Minas Gerais and south Mato Grosso), and east Bolivia (Beni, Santa Cruz and possibly Chuquisaca) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Sick 1993, Armonía 1995). It is uncommon, patchily distributed and apparently declining. It has become very rare and local in Brazil but is apparently more numerous in Bolivia, where 5,000 individuals were estimated at Cerro San Simón, west Beni, in 1990 (Parker and Rocha 1991).


This species occurs at 600-1,100 m in campo cerrado, and particularly campo rupestre (Parker and Rocha 1991, da Silva 1995, Parker et al. 1996).


Conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, soybeans and pasture for exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) have severely impacted its habitat, particularly in Brazil (Parker and Willis 1997). Two thirds of cerrado habitat had been extensively or significantly modified by 1993 (Conservation International 1999), with most destruction having occurred since 1950 (Cavalcanti 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed

Repeat surveys of occupied areas to determine population trends and rates of range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to identify precise habitat requirements and elucidate causes of declines. Effectively protect large areas of suitable habitat.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Porphyrospiza caerulescens. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2021.