The tanager family(Thraupidae) is made up from 64 genera compromising around 283 species. The vast majority of species are small to medium sized birds. Species vary greatly in coloring and bill shape. There among the most colourfull birds within their habitat. We still included the Euphonia, Chlorophonia and Piranga genera within the project.
Tanagers in private aviculture:
While their colouring have made tanager interesting cagebirds, they where never very common. Due to the ban of importing birds the amount of species kept has steadily declined. Many species have gone extict from private aviculture, are exist only in individual birds. We do however see that some species are available once more, and are showing up throughout Europe.
Slightly over 30 species are being kept in Europe, but only a handfull are regularly bred. Only Blue-necked tanager(Tangara cyanicollis), Brazilian tanager(Ramphocelus bresilius) and in lesser degree Paradise tanager(Tangara paradisea) have been bred in good amounts. But this year(2015) more species have been bred, with results in Bay-headed tanager(Tangara gyrola) ,Golden tanager(Tangara arthus) and Blue-naped chlorophonia(Chlorophonia cyanea).
While not the easiest birds to keep, with the right diet and husbandry species can be kept quite well and life to a long age. Birds can live up to around 10 years. On this website you can find various pieces of information on keeping tanagers and the diets.
Tanagers in zoos:
At the moment the amount of tanager species kept lies around 25 species, of which the Brazilian tanager is the most common. This is the only species of tanager currently maintained in an breeding program, as it is coordinated with an ESB studbook by the EAZA.
The earliest records of tanagers in European zoos date back to the end of the 18' century. Around 100 species have been kept since that time.
Tanagers are birds only found in the Americas. While only a few species are found in North America, the diversity of species grows the more you go down, with the largest amount of species being found in the Andes. Tanagers are found in various habitats but most species occur in forests and woodlands.
At the moment 2 species are considered to be critical endangered, and around 20 more are considered vulnerable/threatended. Within the family several species have a very restricted range which could potentially see the amount of species threatened go up.