The conservation status of the Orange-eared Tanager has been listed by the IUCN Red List as Least Concern (BirdLife International 2015) and Parker et al. (1996) considered this species of “medium” conservation priority relative to other Neotropical birds. This species received this category of concern because it is not vulnerable under the range size criterion (range <20,000km), population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations), or the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals) (BirdLife International 2015). In addition to being found in many protected areas (see below), within its range there are large tracts of currently unprotected pristine habitat.
Effects of human activity on populations
According to Parker et al. (1996) the Orange-eared Tanager has a high degree of sensitivity to human disturbance in comparison to the other Neotropical birds. The population is expected to be in decline due to habitat destruction, especially in pre-montane and montane forests which is under heavy pressure from deforestation and human settlement (Hilty 2011). However, the population has not dropped enough to warrant an IUCN Red List status higher than “Least Concern” (BirdLife International 2015). This species is known from the following protected areas: Colombia - Cordillera Los Picachos National Park; Ecuador - Cayambe-Coco Ecological Reserve, Sangay National Park, Podocarpus National Park; Peru - Manu National Park, Bosque de Protección Alto Mayo; Bolivia - Madidi National Park, Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve (Rosas 2003, Bennett Hennessey et al. 2003, Walker et al. 2006 Guevara et al. 2010, Hilty 2011)