Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
National Key Deer Refuge. Tel: (305) 872-2239.
Located on Big Pine Key, the National Key Deer Refuge was created to protect the miniature White-tailed Deer found only in the Keys. Today, cars are the deer’s major ‘predator;’ about 15% of the population are killed by cars each year.
Early morning and early evening are the best times to see these deer, especially along Key Deer Boulevard and on No Name Key. The Refuge visitor center is located on Key Deer Blvd, 1/4 mile north of the traffic light on US 1, in the Big Pine Key Plaza. Map to visitor center and deer viewing sites.
However tempting it is, PLEASE do NOT feed the deer; it encourages them to hang around at the side of the road where they are more likely to be hit by cars.
Birds often seen in the refuge include the Roseate spoonbill, Great White Heron, and Mangrove Cuckoo. There is also a local population of very pale–colored raccoons.
More information on their web site
National Key Deer Refuge web site
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