Rufous-rumped Seedeater Sporophila hypochroma


Justification of Red List Category
This species is considered Near Threatened as it is thought to be experiencing a moderately rapid population decline owing to the degradation of grassland habitats, conversion to agriculture and exploitation for the wild cagetrade (Collar et al. 1992).

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 population declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to habitat loss and persecution for the cagebird trade.

Distribution and population

Sporophila hypochroma has an apparently disjunct range in north and east Bolivia (Beni, La Paz and Santa Cruz), south-west Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás), north-east Argentina (Buenos Aires, Chaco, Corrientes, Entre Ríos and Formosa), Paraguay (throughout the east and south-east, and Presidente Hayes in Chaco) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Pearman and Abadie 1995, Armonía 1995, Chebez et al. 1998) and Uruguay (in Paysandu and Artigas) (Ridgely and Tudor 1989). Breeding has been proven in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay (Pearman and Abadie 1995, Hayes 1995, Lowen et al. 1996, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000). Southern breeding populations migrate north to winter in Brazil (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, R. P. Clay in litt. 2000) and possibly in Concepcíon, Paraguay (R. P. Clay in litt. 2000). Populations in Bolivia are apparently sedentary, but there are no data from late autumn and early winter (Di Giácomo and Contreras 1998).


It has been reported near marshes, seasonally flooded grasslands, pastures and savanna-like areas to 1,100 m, but breeding appears restricted to low, seasonally wet grasslands (Pearman and Abadie 1995).


Widespread destruction and modification of grasslands in central South America for mechanised agriculture, intensive cattle-grazing and afforestation with non-native tree genera, and pressure from trappers suggest that the species is declining rapidly. However, it has been claimed that Argentine populations are expanding in range and number (Pearman and Abadie 1995), but this may be an artifact of improved observer awareness and knowledge.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix I.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor populations at known sites to determine trends, as well as numbers appearing in the wild bird trade. Campaign for the protection of key native grasslands across the range.


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

Clay, R.P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Sporophila hypochroma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/03/2023.