The rufous-headed chachalaca has a small range which is decreasing due to vast forest fragmentation and swift loss of habitat (2) (4) (5). Even in reserves, illegal hunting, logging and other activities are occurring, and land development and colonisation are continuing in the region, in particular the extension of road networks. These developments are in turn increasing activities such as cattle ranching, logging and oil palm planting (2) (4).
Intensive grazing is also degrading the habitat of this species, and the progressive loss of habitat will soon eliminate nearly all remaining unprotected forest if effective action is not taken urgently (2) (4).
Although the rufous-headed chachalaca is present in protected areas, these populations are mostly isolated from each other, living in the small patches of the forest that remain, or at the forest edge. Lack of natural corridors is a problem for this species (4).
Hunting may also pose a threat to the rufous-headed chachalaca, although its relatively small size may mean that it is less likely to be hunted than other game birds (2) (4). As a result of habitat destruction and hunting, the population of the rufous-headed chachalaca is believed to be small and decreasing (2) (4) (5).