Florida Keys – Key Deer

by Terri | June 2nd, 2011

"Key Deer protection alliance"

If you are driving on the Overseas Highway as you near No Name Key or Big Pine Key you will find a National Key Deer Refuge. It is over 8,500 acres surrounding No name and Big Pine and several other islands that are uninhabited. These are the most darling deer you will ever see. The males are probably about 50 to 75 pounds and the female are in the range of 40 to 60 pounds. I have a german shepherd that weighs that much!

They estimate there are anywhere between 300 to 800 Key Deer, which makes them an endangered species. Drivers often hit them along highway 1, so be careful when you are driving to the Florida Keys. One of the reasons why you see them out along the highway is because their fear of humans is gone. But, because of all the efforts of so many, the population is better than it was in 1955 when they estimated about 25 of these deer inhabited the Florida Keys. You will not find these unique deer anywhere else in the USA.

I have to tell you about one group that is trying to help keep the Key Deer from becoming extinct. They are the Key Deer Protection Alliance and they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk…. they have programs on educating the public, they participate in the local planning process as well as on the federal level and they challenge projects which threaten the key deer in the Florida Keys. They also give scholarships to students who want to learn about preserving the Key Deer. There are so many other things they do, check out their website.

When you are driving down US Highway 1 my advice is to take it easy, drive accordingly and please go the speed limit. There are other creatures on this earth who need us to be aware of them. When you enter the Florida keys, these beautiful deer need our help in doing whatever we can to preserve their home so that they can also live in abundance. If you do anything while heading through the keys, be aware of God’s little creatures.

Until next time……

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