Archived 2017 topics: Grey-winged Inca-finch (Incaspiza ortizi): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened or Least Concern?

Grey-winged Inca-finch, Incaspiza ortizi, is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion D2 on the basis that it is known from only a limited number of locations (BirdLife International 2017). The species is endemic to Peru, with known records from Palamba, La Esperanza, and Hacienda Limón (Begazo et al. 2001). It has also been reported from near Longotea to the east of the Marañón, which suggests the range may be considerably larger than previously thought (Angulo et al. 2008, F. Lambert in litt. 2007, F. Angulo in litt. 2007). The population size is currently placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, but if the species were to be found at further sites then this estimate may need to be revised; and the population trend is assumed to be stable. It appears to be able to persist despite habitat degradation, and in the south of its range it survives on heavily disturbed, steep slopes, which appear unlikely to be usable (R. Webster and R. A. Rowlett in litt. 1998). Given this information, it seems likely that the species would no longer meet the threshold for listing as Vulnerable under criterion D2, and would not warrant listing as Vulnerable under criteria A or C either.

Grey-winged Inca-finch does have an Extent of Occurrence of 14,500 km2, which meets the threshold value for Vulnerable under criterion B1; and pending further records its distribution may be considered fragmented (though it is uncertain to what extent it may considered severely fragmented [see IUCN 2012]). Its ability to cope with degraded habitat suggests that its range is unlikely to be decreasing, and the species may warrant downlisting to Least Concern. However, it may be argued that conversion of habitat within its range, particularly to agriculture, is reducing the quality of the species’s habitat, in which case the species may warrant listing as Near Threatened under criterion B1ab(iii).

We welcome any comments, and invite any further information.



Angulo, F.; Palomino, W.; Arnal, H.; Aucca, C.; Uchofen, O. 2008. Corredor de Conservación de Aves Marañón – Alto Mayo: Análisis de Distribución de Aves de Alta Prioridad de Conservación e Identificación de Propuestas de Áreas para su Conservación. Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos /American Bird Conservancy, Cuzco, Perú.

Begazo, A.J.; Valqui, T.; Sokol, M.; Langlois, E. 2001. Notes on some birds from central and northern Peru. Cotinga 15: 81-87.

BirdLife International 2017. Species factsheet: Incaspiza ortizi. Downloaded from on 04/01/2017.

IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN.

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2 Responses to Archived 2017 topics: Grey-winged Inca-finch (Incaspiza ortizi): downlist from Vulnerable to Near Threatened or Least Concern?

  1. On a recent trip (June 2014) to Huancabamba aea along with Barry Walker and Dan Lane, we found Incaspiza ortizi to be common on dry scrub (see This records expands the know distriubution area of the last 10 years (it was only being recorded on the Balsas area, on the Marañon river area between Cajamarca and Amazonas). Also, there is a recent record (2015) on Zapaltago, along the Marañon river by J. Novoa (, that is some 80 km north of balsas and between the Huancabamba one and Balsas. These records increase the number of known localities and the potencial of a bigger distribution area.

    Besides this, I have foun this species to be very tolerant to habitat disturbance, so, I think that a reassesment needs to be performed and see on what cathegory fits better.

  2. Andy Symes (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to list:

    Grey-winged Inca-finch as Least Concern.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 4 August, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from the initial proposal.

    The final 2017 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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