Key Deer FawnClick on Pic for a larger view.
Key Deer Fawn
Click on Pic for a larger view.

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 deer, Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Manager Nancy Finley said. The current estimate of 800 deer means the population “probably is at carrying capacity,” or the level at which the environment can sustain them, for the species’ Lower Keys range, she said. “But it’s very complicated with Key deer.”

Last year, 157 deer were struck and killed by cars, a deadly record.


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One Comment

  1. Joseph Betz says:

    Hello, my name is Joseph Betz and I’m a freshman at Oconomowoc highschool studying biology. I’m doing a project on the key deer, and was wondering if you could answer some questions.
    First of all, what is it like determining the population of key deer? I’m always curious to see what kind of technology people are using for this kind of stuff. Secondly, what has worked the best for increasing the population of key deer? I did a lot of research and it seemed like fences along roads, deer guards, and underpasses have greatly helped, but I was wondering if there was anything else that proved effective. Lastly, if key deer were to go extinct, what kind of effect on the environment would it have? I’m guessing producers wouldn’t be controlled as much, but it doesn’t seem like key deer have abundant predators, so I don’t know how much other consumers would be affected.


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