The Bay-headed Tanager has a relatively large range (3,990,000 km2); therefore this tanager is designated as of Least Concern in terms of conservation priority (BirdLife International 2010). Parker et al. (1996) also considered this species to have low conservation priority. The population size is unknown, but BirdLife International (2010) indicates that the overall population is decreasing. However, this decrease is not at a rate that makes the species qualify for the designation of Vulnerable. Given the genetic and morphological diversity seen within the Bay-headed Tanager, this taxon likely consists of multiple species. Thus, the conservation status may change if evaluated based on revised circumscription of the actual evolutionary units within this group.