Scientific Name: Bangsia melanochlamys
IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable
A stocky, short-tailed tanager, measuring 15 cm in length and weighing 35-44.5 g. Both sexes are similar, with black upperparts, head, breast sides, and flanks, a golden-yellow to orange upper breast, and bright yellow mid-breast, belly and undertail-coverts, with bright blue uppertail-coverts, lesser and median upperwing-coverts. Bill and legs are blackish. The immature plumage has yet to be described.
Contact calls include a sharp ‘tsit’ and ‘pit-pit-pit’. The song is high-pitched ‘tsit-tsit-sii’.
The Black-and-gold Tanager is usually found singularly or in pairs in the middle canopy. They are omnivorous, foraging mainly for fruit and seeds, but when in mixed-species flocks, they also search for arthropods amongst the moss and epiphytes growing on trees.
Little is known about their breeding behaviour. Nesting occurs from April, with juveniles fledging by June. This species appears to undergo a post-breeding altitudinal movement, moving to higher elevations from June and July.
Endemic to a small area of the Central Andes in western Colombia, the Black-and-gold Tanager inhabits humid and cloud forest, mostly primary forest, but also secondary forest, forest fragments and in cultivated land, between 1,000-2,285 m.
Threats and Conservation
The Black-and-gold Tanager is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The population is estimated to be between 1,000-2,499 individuals and is thought to be slowly declining due to deforestation within their restricted range for cattle ranching, mining, small-scale agriculture, logging, and road building. Protected areas do not cover their full altitudinal range. This species is probably dependent on primary forest, much of which is being lost, especially below 1,500 m.
Created in 1990 by WLT partner Fundación Guanacas Bosques de Niebla, the Guanacas Reserve protects 520 ha (1,285 acres) of cloud forest and naturally regenerating pasture in the Andes of north-western Columbia.
WLT is supporting a project by partner Fundación Guanacas Bosques de Niebla to expand the Guanacas Reserve and safeguard the montane forest vital to the long-term survival of the Black-an-gold Tanager.