Many populations of Emberizids are declining. Habitat loss and fragmentation are main threats. Habitat is being lost due to urbanization, and as forest succession reduces the size and number of grasslands and old fields. Over-grazing, cowbird parasitism, trapping for the cage-bird trade and house cats also pose threats to many species.
The IUCN lists a number of species as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. CITES also lists a few Emberizids under appendix II and III. Most migratory species in the United States are protected by the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the US ESA lists two subspecies as endangered (Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) and Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus)) and one as threatened (San Clement sage sparrow (Amphizpiza belli clementeae)).