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A Key deer in velvet. Photo by USFWS.

Irma leaves plenty of food and water for key deer

If you’re worried about Florida Key deer dying of thirst or starvation following Hurricane Irma, an expert on the tiny creatures has one word of advice: don’t.

The deer have ample water and more food than they might be able to eat. That’s the opinion of Roel Lopez, the director of the Natural Resources Institute at Texas A&M University. He studied the animals, a subspecies of white-tailed deer, for his doctoral thesis.

The deer, he said, will find some water holes that are tainted with seawater that surged into their habitat, but they will discover others where the water is good. The rainfall, he said, also will help provide plenty of water.

Food? Key deer dine on vegetation. Irma’s high winds blew that greenery to the ground – leaving, in effect, a smorgasbord within easy reach. They won’t go hungry.

Tune in to Science Friday this week

Daniel Clark, refuge manager at Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex will be joining Ira Plato on Science Friday to discuss the Hurricane Irma’s impacts on wildlife. The refuge complex includes Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, National Key Deer Refuge, Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge and Key West National Wildlife Refuge

Contact

Mark Davis, Public Affairs Specialist
mark_r_davis@fws.gov, 404-679-7291

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