Green-capped Tanager Tangara meyerdeschauenseei


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been downlisted from Vulnerable as a result of evidence that it occurs more widely and thus may have a larger population than previously thought. Recent evidence also suggests that the population is increasing in response to anthropogenic habitat modification. It qualifies as Near Threatened because its population is nevertheless thought to be very small. Further evidence regarding its population size and distribution may warrant downlisting of the species to Least Concern in the near future.

Population justification
The species is described as fairly common to locally common in its apparently restricted range. Its population was previously estimated at 600-1,700 mature individuals; however, it has since been found at additional locations, suggesting that the population estimate should be revised upwards. The population is now placed in the band for 1,000-2,499 mature individuals, roughly equivalent to 1,500-3,800 individuals in total.

Trend justification
This species appears to be increasing locally owing to land clearance and agricultural practices (D. Lane in litt. 2013), which are increasing the availability of open scrub and wooded grassland that the species appears to favour (M. Berg and Van Kleunen in litt. 2012, S. Herzog in litt. 2013).

Distribution and population

Tangara meyerdeschauenseei was described from Puno department in southern Peru by Schulenberg and Binford (1985). It is now known to be relatively common at three sites in the arid area at the headwaters of the río Inambari in Puno, and apparently uncommon in the Apolo area of north-western Bolivia (M. Berg and A. Van Kleunen in litt. 2012). Until recently, there were only three reports of this species from Bolivia, all from Madidi National Park, with one in November 2001 from humid Yungas forest at Tokoaque (Hennessey and Gomez 2003), another published sighting from dry forest along the Río Machariapo (Parker and Bailey 1991), which was later retracted (Hennessey and Gomez 2003), and one seen near Santa Cruz de Valle Ameno in December 2003 (B. Hennessey per M. Berg and A. Van Kluenen in litt. 2012). However, fieldwork in the Apolo area of La Paz department, Bolivia, in April and May 2011, produced seven records of 15 individuals (M. Berg and A. Van Kleunen in litt. 2012). Six of these observations occurred in the Atén area, with another in the humid Yungas forest close to Santa Cruz de Valle Ameno. The Atén area produced subsequent records later in 2011 (A. Van Kluenen and J. Q. Vidoz per M. Berg and A. Van Kluenen in litt. 2012). It has been suggested that this species is undergoing range expansion, facilitated by deforestation (Schulenberg et al. 2007, M. Berg and A. Van Kluenen in litt. 2012).


The species appears to prefer open scrub and wooded grassland, and has been observed at forest edges. The majority of recent observations in Bolivia are from dry, open scrubland and forest borders at 1450-1700 m, typical of Bolivian Andean Cerrado (M. Berg and Van Kleunen in litt. 2012). Some records from Bolivia are from humid Yungas forest (Hennessey and Gomez 2003, M. Berg and A. Van Kluenen in litt. 2012), and seasonal movements between habitats have been postulated (Hennessey and Gomez 2003). In general, records are from between 1,450 and 2,200 m, but it may range beyond these limits. It is usually found singly, in pairs or groups of three or four (Naoki 2003, M. Berg and Van Kleunen in litt. 2012), often in mixed species flocks, foraging in bushes and low trees (M. Berg and Van Kleunen in litt. 2012). It has been recorded taking a variety of fruit and arthropods (Naoki 2003), and probably breeds around November based on the behaviour of the birds sighted (Hennessey and Gomez 2003).


Its usage of open, semi-open and edge habitats suggests that it is tolerant of habitat modification. Indeed, it is suspected that deforestation is facilitating the expansion of its range (Schulenberg et al. 2007, M. Berg and A. Van Kluenen in litt. 2012). It remains to be seen whether agricultural intensification will negatively impact the species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Many records from Bolivia are from within Madidi National Park (Hennessey and Gomez 2003, M. Berg and A. Van Kluenen in litt. 2012), thus it receives some habitat protection.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess its range and population size. Research its ecology and habitat requirements. Conduct research to clarify pertinent threats. Grant protected status to additional occupied sites and areas of suitable habitat. Work with farmers to develop a land management strategy that benefits the species in the long term.


14 cm. Predominately pale turquoise-green tanager. Greenish-straw crown (more straw in female, but sexes otherwise largely alike). Rest of upperparts blue-green admixed with straw, especially on rump. Blue underparts tinged buff, most noticeable on undertail-coverts. Voice A fairly harsh short cheeup cheeup cheeup


Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Naoki, K., van Kleunen, A. & Berg, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Tangara meyerdeschauenseei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019.