The full extent and continuity of the distribution of Nephelornis are still incompletely known (Witt and Lane in press). Surveys should be undertaken in high-elevation forests and treeline habitats, especially in the topographically complex region between Junín and Cusco. Furthermore, studies of the life-history, population biology, and habitat requirements of this species would provide novel and valuable information. If global climate change heavily impacts elfin forest (Foster 2001), then dispersal capability and precise niche requirements are needed to determine population viability.
The sister taxon of Nephelornis remains unclear, in part because the membership of three of the major New World nine-primaried oscine groups (Thraupinae, Emberizinae, Cardinalinae) remain uncertain (Lougheed et al. 2000). This will necessitate a phylogenetic analysis involving all species among these three groups. Resolution of this phylogeny will also benefit our understanding of the complex historical biogeographic processes shaping the high avian endemism of the Andes (Burns 1997, Lougheed et al. 2000).