Coalcrest Charitospiza eucosma


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened, as it is uncommon and local within its range, and hence has a moderately small population which is likely to be declining owing to habitat loss, as well as the effects of bird trappers.

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
Slow to moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to habitat loss and trapping for the wild bird trade, although precise data on the nature of these declines are lacking.

Distribution and population

Charitospiza eucosma occurs in north-east and central Brazil (central Piauí, south Maranhão and south-east Pará south through Goiás, west Bahia and central Minas Gerais to south-east Mato Grosso and central São Paulo) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Sick 1993), north-east Bolivia (Serranía de Huanchaca in Santa Cruz) (Killeen and Schulenberg 1998) and north-east Argentina (single records from Misiones in 1961 and, bizarrely, one recently collected in Tucumán [B. Schmidt and C. Milensky in litt. 1998]). It can be uncommon to fairly common, but has a very local and erratic occurrence (Ridgely and Tudor 1989).


This species inhabits 'cerrado' and 'caatinga' habitats in lowlands (below 1,200 m). It has been observed invading recently burned areas (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Bates et al. 1992), and may engage in local migrations or semi-nomadism in response to fire succession (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Parker and Willis 1997).


Conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, soybeans and pastures for exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) has had a severe impact on its cerrado habitats in Brazil (Parker and Willis 1997). Caatinga habitats are less threatened, but still suffer from agricultural expansion and grazing. At least in Brazil, it is trapped for the cage-bird trade.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys of sites throughout the known range to determine distribution, abundance, population trends and movements. Campaign for the protection of remaining cerrado habitats.


11.5 cm. A delicate but boldly patterned finch. Long spiny crest usually laid back and crown black, contrasting with white cheeks and ear-coverts. Face, throat and mid breast, continued over centre of belly black, contrasting with flanks and belly orangey buff. Silvery grey back; black wings and tail with pale wing coverts. White in base of outer rectrices visible in flight. Female paler with brown tinge above and brown shorter crest. Greyish face, eyebrow and underparts dull cinnamon buff. Similar spp. Male unmistakable, and females pattern plus white in tail does not resemble other finches. Voice Song is a modest 3-syllabled phrase. Inconspicuous thin tzip-tzip call. Hints In pairs or small groups somewhat inconspicuous in the vegetation cover or even on the ground.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C.J.

Milensky, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Charitospiza eucosma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2021.