Large scale timbering operations followed by slash and burn agriculture are one of the ocellated turkey’s primary threats.
Active farmlands occur in the range of the ocellated turkey and are the product of what ecologists refer to as “slash and burn agriculture,” where forestlands are cut, burned to remove any residual vegetation, then planted to corn, beans, and squash. These sites are farmed until the thin soils are depleted of nutrients or eroded away during rainy seasons. Burned areas not farmed are converted to pasture for cattle grazing, but these pasture grasses are soon replaced by thick patches of shrubs and vines unpalatable to cattle.
Quality wildlife habitat across Central America is being lost at an alarming rate, especially in the range occupied by ocellated turkeys.