The conservation status of Red-crested Cardinal has been listed by the ICUN Red List as Least Concern (BirdLife International 2015). It received this designation due to its extremely large range, about 2,390,000 km2, and although an exact population parameter has not been quantified, it is estimated to be stable from lack of evidence of decline or substantial threat. Parker et al. (1996) lists its conservation status relative to other Neotropical birds as "Medium". Prevention of Red-crested Cardinal from being listed as Threatened would involve conservation and protection of its main habitats and nesting sites, mostly forests of Tala trees with a mix of dense tree cover and open grasslands (Segura and Arturi 2009, Segura and Arturi 2012).
Effects of human activity on populations
The greatest effect humans have on Red-crested Cardinal is its capture and illegal trade as a cage bird. As a trafficked bird, Red-crested Cardinal represents up to 28.7% of the birds recovered (1088 individuals from a sample of 3797) due to its popularity as a captive song bird (Ferreira and Glock 2004). However, due to no precise measure on the state of the wild population and despite the considerable translocation of the birds from the wild into captivity, the cage bird market apparently has no effect on the global population (Jaramillo 2011). Additional fragmentation and degradation of Tala forests due to logging could have a negative impact on the populations of Red-crested Cardinals, though accurate studies are needed to infer such practices as threats (Segura et al. 2014). A study of cardinals nesting in a park with prevalent ecotourism found that, although human impact did not contribute to nest failure, it was likely that predation increased due to predators capitalizing on the nearby urban areas (Segura and Berkunsky 2012).