Ocellated turkey

The ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is a species of turkey residing primarily in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, as well as in parts of Belize and Guatemala. A relative of the North American wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), it was sometimes previously considered in a genus of its own (Agriocharis), but the differences between the two turkeys are currently considered too small to justify generic segregation. It is a relatively large bird, at around 70–122 cm (28–48 in) long and an average weight of 3 kg (6.6 lb) in females and 5 kg (11 lb) in males.

Ocellated turkey
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Meleagris
Species:
M. ocellata
Binomial name
Meleagris ocellata
Cuvier, 1820
Approximate distribution
Synonyms

Agriocharis ocellata

The ocellated turkey lives only in a 130,000 km2 (50,000 sq mi) range in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico—which includes all or part the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Yucatán, Tabasco, and Chiapas—as well as the northern and western parts of Belize and northern Guatemala.

The ocellated turkey was considered endangered by Mexican authorities as recently as 2002 and has been considered Near Threatened by the IUCN since 2009 (Kampichler et al. 2010). The species is believed to have experienced a decline in response to land use changes and higher than sustainable harvest by migrant workers and subsistence hunters living in the Yucatán Peninsula region of Central America. (Kampichler et al. 2010). A study conducted in the year 2011 indicated that the ocellated turkey made up a substantial amount of the diets of four prominent ethnic groups of the Yucatán Peninsula (Santos et al. 2012).


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