How Key Deer
Became An Endangered Species
fatalities account for about 70 percent of the Key deer fatalities
each year. It's a situation that isn't likely to improve.
1, the main thoroughfare through the Keys, is one of the roads
that bisects the refuge, and about half the fatalities happen along
this roadway despite a posted speed limit that is lower than on any
These collisions are just as apt to take place during the day as at
night. Obviously, this is one instance where sharing the land isn't
working at all well.
problem is that only 40 percent of Big Pine Key is protected habitat.
On a map, the island is revealed as a checkerboard of houses and businesses,
and development is planned. Some of the local developers would like
to turn Big Pine Key into another Key West.
That's a strange mind-set to understand since a Key West style of life
is not why people moved to this region to begin with. Furthermore, Key
West is just another 30 miles farther south, geographically, though
it feels more like decades away, psychologically.
Developers, interested only in dollar signs, and bureaucrats,
who need a larger tax base to provide them more power,
are always an unholy alliance where protecting nature is concerned.
On Big Pine Key, the two factions clearly deserve to
count their money together, in hell.
If the status of the Key deer is still precarious today,
at least it is far more secure than during the 1940s when only an estimated
50 animals remained.
Hunting and some habitat destruction
had eliminated the rest. The establishment of the National Key
Deer Refuge in 1957, coupled with strong law enforcement, saved
the herd from extinction.
to See Key Deer
Month To Photograph Key Deer
Deer Habits and Habitat
Deer Evolution, Adaptation
Neighbors: People and Key Deer
Key Deer Homepage