Black-bellied Tanager only occurs in a small region in north central Peru, in the valleys of the Río Huallaga and one of its tributaries, the Río Mayo. Its distribution apparently includes almost the entire Mayo valley, although near Tarapoto, and south of there along the Huallaga itself, it seems to be replaced locally by the very similar Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo) (e.g., Bond 1955a). Black-bellied Tanager occurs south along the upper Huallaga all the way the headwaters of the Río Huallaga south of Tingo María, in Huánuco (Zimmer 1929c, Parker and O'Neill 1981, Isler and Isler 1987). The elevational distribution of Black-bellied Tanager is from ca 500 m-1800 m (Schulenberg et al. 2010).
Distribution outside the Americas
Endemic to the Americas.
Parker et al. (1996) list the primary habitat pf Black-bellied Tanager as secondary forest. Additional habitats used by this species include, in decreasing order of importance: edges of tropical lowland evergreen forests, river-edge forests, and second-growth scrub. Even though it is not widely distributed, Black-bellied Tanager is considered to be fairly common in the areas where it is found (Parker et al. 1996). The center of abundance is in the hill tropical zone (Parker et al. 1996). This species occurs in two Zoogeographic regions, the Central Andes and Southern Amazonian (Parker et al. 1996).
Black-bellied Tanager occupies secondary and edge habitats, and it has been suggested that it would expanding its range out of the upper Huallaga Valley into the adjacent drainage of the Río Ucayali in central Peru, east of Tingo María (O'Neill, in Isler and Isler 1987). This portion of the Ucayali Valley is occupied by the closely related Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo), the presence of which may limit expansion of Black-bellied Tanager.
Wauer, J., E. R. Funk, C. H. Richart, and K. J. Burns (2017). Black-bellied Tanager (Ramphocelus melanogaster), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.bkbtan1.01