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.