The bare-throated bellbird global population is estimated to number no more than 10,000 in total, although it probably numbers fewer, and is thought to be in steep decline. This has most likely been caused by habitat loss and trapping for the cage-bird trade (2).
Centuries of logging and clearing for agriculture, plantations and mining has destroyed vast tracts of the Atlantic forest, and today it covers less than 10 percent of its original extent. Current threats to this habitat include urbanisation, industrialisation, agricultural expansion, colonisation and associated road-building. The narrow strip of coastal forest in north-eastern Brazil has all but gone – only three percent remains (4); and the bare-throated bellbird is thought to be extinct there (2).
Trapping pressure for the cage-bird trade is particularly heavy in southern Bahia, São Paulo and Santa Catarina in Brazil and is suspected to have had drastic effects on the bare-throated bellbird population there. Trapping is also a growing threat in Paraguay and caged bare-throated bellbirds can be readily seen in markets in the Paraguayan capital, Asunción (2).