About Us


The National Key Deer Refuge was established in 1957 to protect and preserve the national interest the Key deer and other wildlife resources in the Florida Keys. The Refuge is located in the lower Florida Keys and currently consists of approximately 9,200 acres of land that includes pine rockland forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh salt marsh
Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

Learn more about salt marsh
wetlands, and mangrove forests. It is home to 23 endangered and threatened plant and animal species and hundreds of others.  Wildlife dependent activities are allowed; these include saltwater fishing, wildlife observation and photography, interpretation, and environmental education.


The Refuge includes federally-designated Wilderness areas that are part of the Florida Keys Wilderness, Established by Congress in 1975 (Acreage: 6,197 acres)

Why Wilderness? The Wilderness Act of 1964 created the National Wilderness Preservation System "in order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization does not occupy and modify all areas in the United States, and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition..."

For more information: https://wilderness.net/visit-wilderness/?ID=188

Other Facilities in this Complex

The National Key Deer Refuge is part of the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex.  The other three refuges include: Key West NWR (est. 1908), Great White Heron NWR (est. 1938) and Crocodile Lake NWR (est. 1980).