Cassin's Finch Haemorhous cassinii


Justification of Red List Category
Survey data have shown that this species has undergone moderately rapid declines and therefore it qualifies as Near Threatened.

Population justification
Rich et al. PIF North American Landbirds Conservation Plan (2004).

Trend justification
This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Distribution and population

Carpodacus cassinii is found throughout the conifer belts of North America's western interior mountains, from southern British Columbia and southern Alberta in Canada, south through the Rocky Mountains of the USA to wintering populations in northern Mexico (Clement et al. 1993, Hahn 1996). Migration is erratic, dependent on food supply in the breeding range (Clement et al. 1993, Hahn 1996). Population trends should therefore probably be viewed with some caution, due to apparent lack of site fidelity (Hahn 1996), but the species has declined by 2.3% annually from 1966 to 2002 (J. Wells and K. Rosenberg in litt. 2003).


Inhabits montane pine forests.


There is little information on potential threats to C. cassinii, but a preference for open forest habitat suggests that selective logging or small-scale clear-cutting will not be deleterious to this species (Hahn 1996). A major future threat to this species may be climate change: the forests where it is found are predicted to get drier, with concomitant increases in fire and potential increases in pest infestations, including bark beetles that can kill trees (G. Butcher in litt. 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted actions are known for this species, but it is on the watch list as part of the State of North America's Birds (North American Bird Conservation Initiative 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor the population and its trends. Determine what the threats to the species are and develop appropriate conservation actions. Work with owners and managers of montane pine forests to ensure that logging practices are beneficial to the species.


Text account compilers
Bird, J., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Westrip, J.

Rosenberg, K., Butcher, G., Wells, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Haemorhous cassinii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019.