Two primary human activities have brought the Red Siskin close to extinction: Unsustainable harvest, and habitat loss and degradation.

  • The avicultural practice of deliberately breeding Red Siskins with domestic canaries, to create a “red factor” variety of canary. This practice began in the early 20th century and is still ongoing. Trapping to satisfy avicultural demand   remains an important threat to this species.
  • Habitat for the Red Siskin has been lost and degraded in Venezuela, due to logging, agriculture, urbanization, and other activities.
Inbreeding and loss of gene diversity may also be additional threats, and will become increasingly so if Red Siskin populations continue to decline.