The IUCN Red List status for Rufous Piha is Least Concern (Birdlife International 2011). This species is widely distributed, and generally is uncommon to fairly common (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989). Nonetheless, the global population is believed to be slowly decreasing (BirdLife International 2011).
Effects of human activity on populations
Rufous Piha is a forest species, which occupies a region that already has been subjected to widespread deforestation. While populations are currently estimated to be about 50,000 over a range of 462,000 km2 (Birdlife International 2011), habitat loss remains a potential threat to this species.
Local population declines also have been documented. While analyzing the long-term variations of avian communities at Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico, Patten et al. (2009) noticed an acute descent in populations of the Rufous Piha, and other neotropical birds, and this species also has disappeared from Barro Colorado Island, Panama, where formerly it was common (Robinson 2001).
The species is also dwindling from southwest Colombia to northwest Ecuador, as a result of massive deforestation.