Turkey vulture chicks and eggs are preyed on by mammalian nest predators, such as raccoons. Young and adults are sometimes preyed on by owls. Although turkey vultures have few natural predators, they are known for their defense mechanism of regurgitating semi-digested meat--which deters most predators due to its putrid smell.
Most documented mortality of turkey vultures is caused by human interactions, including collisions with vehicles and structures and entrapment in fencing and leg-hold traps. Problems caused by black vultures are sometimes blamed on turkey vultures by association. Humans sometimes destroy turkey vultures and their roosts.
In 1994 there was an observation at Isla Espiritu Santo, Baja California, Mexico, of yellow-footed gulls (Larus livens) attacking a turkey vulture that had flown near their breeding colony.
- Lowney, M. 1999. Damage by black and turkey vultures in Virginia, 1990-1996. Wildlife Society Bullein: Vol. 2, 27(3): 715-719.
- Rodríguez-Estrella, R., J. Donázar, F. Hiraldo. 1995. Yellow-Footed Gulls Attack Turkey Vultures on Isla Espiritu Santo, Baja California, Mexico. Colonial Waterbirds, 18(1): 100-101.