This endangered deer is native to the Everglades and the Florida Keys in South Florida. After near extinction in the 1950s due to poaching, the deer population has rebounded; however, they now face a new predator in South Florida. The Python epidemic and continued erosion of habit threaten the existence of this “toy-like” deer. No bigger than a large dog, these deer are more susceptible to external issues that did not previously exist in their environment (snakes and habitat loss). Despite these issues, researchers believe the species is seeing sustained population growth of about 3% a year. Watson the Key Deer is named after Jack Watson whose stewardship led to the preservation of this species. Mr. Watson was also named the first refuge manager for the National Key Deer Refuge and maintained that position until his retirement in 1975.
Endangered Animals Initiative
Frontier is dedicated to bringing awareness to the endangered animals within the continental U.S.A. You can learn more about our endangered animal tails here.