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Florida Boardwalk Animal Fact Sheet
Odocoileus virginianus clavium

Key deer are restricted to Monroe County, Florida, and are permanent residents in the lower Keys.

The greatest current impact on Key deer is the loss of habitat to development.  Other factors include highway mortality.

The Key deer, the smallest of all white-tailed deer, is a subspecies of the Virginia white-tailed deer.  These deer inhabit Big Pine Key and various surrounding keys.  They are not found anywhere else in the world.

No records exist documenting the origin of the deer in the keys.  It is believed the deer
migrated to the keys from the mainland thousands of years ago, across a long land
bridge.  As the Wisconsin Glacier melted and the sea rose dividing the land bridge into small islands known as the Florida Keys.

Habitat: Only islands with permanent fresh water are used consistently by Key deer.  Big Pine Key and No Name Key support more than two-thirds of the population.
Diet: The Key deer’s primary food source is the red mangrove, but approximately 60 other plants are also known to form part of its diet.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: This is the smallest race of North American deer.  Adults measure 25 to 30 inches at the shoulder and have an average weight of 55 to 75 pounds for males and 45-65 pounds for females.
Lifespan: n/a
Reproduction & Offspring: Key deer have a relatively low reproductive rate, averaging 1.08 fawns per adult doe annually.  At birth the fawn weigh 2-4 pounds.


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