WEC133/UW121: White-Tailed Deer of Florida

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Publication #WEC133

· Topics: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation | Deer | Main, Martin B |
Schaefer, Joseph


** White-Tailed Deer of Florida^1 **

Joe Schaefer and Martin B. Main^2

/This document contains an overview of the deer populations of Florida,
their history and contemporary management issues. /


The white-tailed deer / (Odocoileus virginianus) / is the most economically
important big game mammal in North America and Florida. The average
expenditure nationally on deer-hunting licenses, hunting equipment, food,
travel, and lodging is about $1,500 for each deer harvested. Florida deer
are also a major prey species for the endangered Florida panther / (Felis
concolour) /. As a consequence, deer have been the object of much
management, research, and controversy.

Within the past century, Florida's deer herd has gone through many changes.
In the late 1930s, there were only about 20,000 deer in the state and they
were nearly extirpated in south Florida during an effort to eradicate
tick-borne diseases. The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (GFC)
responded to this by purchasing deer from various sources-- including a
game farm in Wisconsin--and transplanting them to unoccupied areas in
Florida. Also, killing adult females (does) was prohibited during the early
restocking period, to further ensure success.

These efforts were successful and now population estimates exceed 700,000
deer statewide. This number, in combination with a growing human
population, presents new challenges. In several areas, deer have become so
numerous, landowners complain of damage to agricultural crops and
ornamental plantings. A similar, repopulation has taken place with Key

Source: edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw121

are there deer in florida

Key deer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Key deer **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Key Deer
Conservation status

Endangered (IUCN 2.3)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: /Odocoileus/
Species: /O. virginianus/
Subspecies: /*O. v. clavium*/
Trinomial name
*/Odocoileus virginianus clavium/*
Barbour & G. M. Allen, 1922

The *Key deer* (/Odocoileus virginianus clavium/) is an endangered deer
that lives only in the Florida Keys. It is a subspecies of the white-tailed
deer (/O. virginianus/).


· 1 Physical description and behavior
· 2 Range, habitat, and diet
· 3 History

· 3.1 Endangered status

· 4 Conservation efforts
· 5 References
· 6 External links

*Physical description and behavior[edit]*

This deer can be recognized by its characteristic size, smaller than all
other white-tailed deer. Adult males (known as bucks) usually weigh
25–34 kg (55–75 lb) and stand about 76 cm (30 in) tall at the
shoulder. Adult females (does) usually weigh between 20 and 29 kg (44 and
64 lb) and have an average height of 66 cm (26 in) at the shoulders. The
deer is a reddish-brown to grey-brown in color. Antlers are grown by males
and shed between February and March and regrown by June. When the antlers
are growing, they have a white velvet coating. The species otherwise
generally resembles other white-tailed deer in appearance.

Key deer easily swim between islands.

Living close to humans, the Key deer has little of the natural fear of man
shown by most of their larger mainland relatives. The deer are often found
in residents' yards and along roadsides where tasty plants and flowers
grow. This often results in car-to-deer collisions, as the deer are more
active (and harder to avoid) at night. It is not unusual to see them at

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_deer

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