Although the global population size of the Iago sparrow is not known, it is believed to be fairly common (2) (4). However, as an island species with a rather restricted range, the Iago sparrow may be particularly vulnerable to any random environmental changes or man-made threats.
Since being colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th Century, the landscape of the Cape Verde Islands has been extensively converted from dry forest and scrub to a largely agricultural landscape, with native habitats severely fragmented. Introduced predators and livestock have also caused further damage to native flora and fauna (3). Although the Iago sparrow appears able to adapt to urban and cultivated environments, it faces competition from the introduced house sparrow, and in particular from the Spanish sparrow, which has displaced the Iago sparrow from some areas (5).