1-2 hour old Key Deer Fawn, picture credit: CWRL-SIUC/Key Deer Protective Alliance
1-2 hour old Endangered Florida Key Deer Fawn
Photo courtesy of : Key Deer Protection Alliance


The Endangered Mammals of Florida



The Key Deer
Odocoileus virginianus clavium


The Florida Key Deer is the smallest Deer in the United States.

 It is a sub-species of the white tailed Deer and

is believed to be found only in the Florida Keys.


Key Deer range in height from 25-35 inches

and weigh between 45-75 pounds,

with the females being at the smaller numbers.

They can swim between the Islands where they are found.

A Florida Key Deer Fawn
A Florida Key Deer Fawn
Photo credit:


Safe drinking water on the Islands is scarce and is a constant problem for them.

Their numbers range broadly between 300-800 and

have been as few as 25 in the past.

A Florida Key Deer
A Florida Key Deer
Photo credit: Paul Frank/USFWS


70% of Key Deer deaths come from cars and there are

signs posted everywhere in their known habitats,

with up to date car death numbers for all to see.

The Keys traffic is a big problem for Key Deer
Key Deer are on the roads everywhere
Photo credit: “Copyright Larry Korhnak”


After seeing these fragile, delicate creatures in the Keys,

their fate is of an even more personal nature now.

A Florida Key Deer Fawn
A Florida Key Deer Fawn
Photo Credit: Wiki


They roam with little fear through yards and grassy areas

grazing on their favorite food of mangrove, as well as other

not so digestible plant life and are treasured by most of the locals.

Florida Key Deer
Florida Key Deer Mother and Fawn
Photo credit: John Oberheu/USFWS


The encroachment of civilization on their already small habitat,

along with traffic and dogs are the major threats to the deer numbers.

Florida Key Deer
A Florida Key Deer Fawn
Photo credit: USFWS

Population stability for the Endangered Key Deer may be difficult to

achieve however, because speed reduction, seen as the most 

effective way to stop the road deaths, will not be popular  

in an area with extremely heavy tourist traffic year round.


Places to learn more:



Growing Population Rivals Endangered Key Deer


Defenders of Wildlife

Key Deer


Florida Environment.com

Florida's Key Deer on the Rebound


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

National Key Deer Refuge - Wildlife Viewing


Florida Keys Parks and Beaches

National Key Deer Refuge



National Key Deer Refuge


Key Deer Protection Alliance

Working hard to save the Florida Key Deer


Museum of Science - Miami

The Key Deer Through the Eyes of a Child


National Wildlife Federation

Court Upholds Protection for Endangered Key Deer 

What's Killing the Key Deer


Texas A & M

Key Deer Research Project


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Key Deer Refuge

Key Deer - Species Report



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Educating Visitors About Florida's Wildlife Since June 01, 2008

Last edited January 17, 2023

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