Turquoise Dacnis Dacnis hartlaubi

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Holly McMullen, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns


Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List conservation status of Turquoise Dacnis has been assessed as Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2017). It is close to qualifying as Endangered, but assigned to the former due to being found at more than five localities and showing some tolerance to habitat disturbance (BirdLife International 2017). Similarly, it is listed as Vulnerable in the Rojo Libro of Colombian birds, due to 83% habitat loss, with 8.9% of that loss occurring between 2000-2010 (Cortés Herrera et al. 2014). It received this categorization due to its small estimated range of < 2,000 km2 and its patchy distribution (Cortés Herrera et al. 2014). The population size has been estimated 2500-9999 breeding individuals, with evidence of non-cyclical population declines due to habitat loss and range contractions (Hilty 1985, BirdLife International 2017). Parker et al. (1996) considered this species of "high" conservation priority relative to other Neotropical birds.

Effects of human activity on populations

Turquoise Dacnis is thought to have a medium level of sensitivity to human disturbance compared to other Neotropical birds (Parker et al. 1996). Ongoing and imminent threats are primarily due to the loss of suitable habitat due to development (Collar et al. 1997, Cortés Herrera et al. 2014). It is suspected that the Río Bogotá Region below Tequendama Falls, a region of extensive lower montane cloud forests, housed a thriving population before the Finca Rancho Grande converted this land into ranches for livestock, coffee plantations, and residential areas (Munves 1975, Hilty and Brown 1986). Now, an estimated 83% of its forested habitat has been lost, with 8.9% lost from 2000-2010 (Cortés Herrera et al. 2014). It appears able to tolerate some habitat disturbance, such as secondary forests and shade-grown coffee plantations, but apparently only when these plantations are adjacent forests and perhaps contain particular types of trees (Botero and Verhelst 2001). A call for conservation awareness via expanded areas of protection, improved sustainability practices, and education was raised as early as 2002 and continues (Cortés Herrera et al. 2014, Calderón-Franco 2012), yet populations continue to be lost and areas of known populations continue to remain largely unprotected (Hilty 2011). Armed-conflict zones have also likely had a negative impact on Turquoise Dacnis populations, and have hampered conservation efforts (Fjeldså et al. 2005). Turquoise Dacnis is known from a few protected areas: Tequendama Reserve (Stattersfeld and Capper 2000), Reserva Natural El Paujil in the Serranía de las Quinchas (Quevedo et al. 2006), Reserva Natural Reinita Cielo Azul (Salaman et al. 2008, Donegan et al. 2010), Pauxi pauxi Bird Reserve (Salaman et al. 2008), Chicaque National Park, and La Reserva Forestal Protectora Cerro Quininí in Tibacuy, Cundinamarca (Cortés Herrera et al. 2014), and, historically, from Yotoco Forest Reserve (Stattersfeld and Capper 2000).

Recommended Citation

McMullen, H., C. H. Richart, and K. J. Burns (2018). Turquoise Dacnis (Dacnis hartlaubi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.turdac1.01