Texas A&M Helping Find ‘Key’ to Preserving Endangered Florida Key Deer

For the past several months, a Texas A&M University System institute has been actively involved in efforts to quash a screwworm outbreak in Florida that has jeopardized an already endangered species, said the director for the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. “While there had been no screwworm outbreaks in the U.S. for the past 30 years, […]
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County and Key Deer Refuge Projects on Tap in Big Pine Key in 2017

Monroe County has a handful of projects on tap for the Big Pine Key area in 2017. They include, among others, sea level rise prevention work that’s one of a two-part pilot program in the Florida Keys, a revamp of a popular swimming hole and some more smaller jobs like installing a kayak launch in […]
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Key Deer Refuge Preserving Organs from Dead Deer

As a backup plan to prevent species extinction, a federal agency has started harvesting reproductive organs from dead Key deer. The animals, only found in the Lower Keys, suffered a heavy blow to their population over the last few months from the flesh-eating New World screwworm. While the screwworm eradication effort has prompted the release […]
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Key Deer encounter on Florida’s Big Pine Key – Video

Published on Dec 4, 2016 A close encounter with several endangered Key Deer on Florida’s Big Pine Key. They are very tame. We never fed any of these animals. We stayed in the house for 10 days and I think they just grew accustomed to us. It got to the point where they would walk […]
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National Key Deer Refuge – Population Studies Drive Management Actions

The number of Key deer deaths due to New World screwworm infestation has remained stable at 132 for more than a week; however, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are remaining diligent with protection measures to save this endangered species. The screwworm outbreak has increased the normal mortality rate within the small population of […]
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Plants Iguanas and Key Deer Ignore or Eat

Iguanas and Key Deer are plant eating animals and will eat many kinds of plants. In particular, they like flowering shrubs, like hibiscus, berries, fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, strawberries and figs. The best way for eliminating iguanas is to keep them out of the garden in the first place. This form of iguana control […]
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Key Deer Are Conservation Success Story – Still Face Threats

Key deer were almost hunted to extinction. By 1950, as few as 25-50 of the animals were left. But the creation of the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key and protection under the Endangered Species Act have led to a comeback. The most recent population study estimates the herd at 900 to 1,000. “They […]
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Your Lower Florida Keys Vacation Bucket List

The Lower Florida Keys have some well known destinations. Lying between the Middle Florida Keys and Key West, with Big Pine Key’s Key Deer and Bahia Honda State Park’s beaches as well as one of the top diving spots, Looe Key, will keep visitors busy and happy. There are also may historic locations to satisfy […]
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Best stops on the Overseas Highway – Big Pine Key

Road trips don’t come more spectacular than the Overseas Highway. Sailing through tropical savanna over the Florida Straits, it links Miami on the mainland with the 180-kilometer-long Florida Keys island chain. Most visitors head straight to Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States, but if they stopped along the way they’d find secluded […]
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Big Pine Key Man Charged With Shooting and Killing Key Deer

BY KEVIN WADLOW kwadlow@keynoter.com A Big Pine Key man confessed to the Friday shooting death of an endangered Key deer, state wildlife officers report. Grant M. Wilson, 33, was arrested Saturday on a felony count of killing a protected species. Officer Jeremy Foell of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated. “Mr. Wilson advised […]
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Keys History 1954 – Save the Key Deer

The drive “Save the Key Deer” that started in 1950 issued a progress report. A survey when the drive began showed not more than 30 of the deer existed; in three years, the number had nearly tripled. Today: Estimates of the Key deer population have increased by about 60 percent from a 2004 estimate of 500 […]
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Key Deer Reproduction

The breeding season, or rut, takes place in the fall and early winter. Most mating occurs in October. Pregnancy is about seven months or 200 days, with most fawns born between April and June. Fawns are tiny – only 2-4 pounds at birth. Most does have only one fawn per year. The males drop their antlers […]
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Rockin’ Refuge Rangers – The National Key Deer Refuge

Rockin’ Refuge Rangers! The National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) offers a series of free, kid-friendly, nature-oriented programs on Saturday mornings on Big Pine Key. Our Rockin’ Refuge Ranger events are open to all children in grades K-6 who are accompanied by parent or guardian. The programs will run from 9:45 am-12pm and will have an […]
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