Sand-colored Nighthawk has a very wide distribution, and its IUCN Red List conservation status is evaluated as Least Concern (BirdLife International 2014). Its population is believed to be decreasing (BirdLife International 2014), but this trend has not been quantified (or even confirmed).
The relative abundance of Sand-colored Nighthawk usually is described as fairly common to common (Colombia, Hilty and Brown 1986; Peru, Schulenberg et al. 2010) or "rare to fairly common but very local" (Ecuador, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a).
Effects of human activity on populations
Human activity has little short-term direct effect on Sand-colored Nighthawk. BirdLife International (2014) suggests that this species "is in decline owing to unsustainable levels of exploitation". Groom (1992), however, reported that predation on nests of Sand-colored Nighthawk by indigenous humans was much less significant than losses by avian predators. In the longer term, Sand-colored Nighthawk potentially is vulnerable to widespread habitat loss, as might occur through perturbations of the Amazonian hydrological regime stemming from widespread deforestation, dam construction, or global climate change.