Columbian White-Tailed Deer

Odocoileus virginianianus leucurus
CWTD - Jim Cruce_520x298

Columbian white-tailed deer are unique to southwest Washington and western Oregon and were listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1968.  On October 13th, 2016 the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced and celebrated the reclassification of the Columbia River population from endangered to threatened.   

The recovery of the Columbian white-tailed deer is a multi-faceted story in the Pacific Region, with influence from National Wildlife Refuges, Ecological Services, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Washington and Oregon Departments of Fish and wildlife, and numerous other partners.

Part of this recovery has included the translocation of 88 Columbian white-tailed deer from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors have reported seeing both adults and young white-tailed deer throughout the Refuge's public areas. Deer that have been translocated will have bright yellow ear tags and the adults are often fitted with radio collars that help to study their activity. However, those young that are born on the Refuge will not have either of these. Pay attention to the longer and lighter colored tail versus the shorter darker tail of the black-tailed deer. Also, white-tailed males have antlers with prongs arising from a single main beam.

Facts About Columbian White-Tailed Deer

Females often gather in family groups ranging from 2-12 individuals.

Males are often seen alone.

1-2 fawns per year but can have up to 4.

Feed on young willow, cottonwood, alder and other deciduous trees in riparian areas.