Relatively large populations of ocellated turkeys are found in protected areas of Belize, where this species is most common. However, in general, ocellated turkeys are rare and have been eliminated from some areas of Mexico, such as north Yucatan, west Campeche, northeast Chiapas, and east Tabasco. Survival rates for females and poults during the breeding season are a low 60-75% and 15%, respectively, in Tikal National Park in Guatemala.
Numbers are decreasing due to intense hunting for food and sport. Also, large-scale clear-cutting and slash and burn methods to make way for agriculture are destroying suitable habitat and making birds easier targets for hunting.
US Migratory Bird Act: no special status
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix iii
State of Michigan List: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: near threatened