|Whitetail deer are
not endangered now, but, like many of our other animals in the Americas, had
been in the past. They were reduced to critically low numbers, not
however due to habitat loss (the cause that we most often hear relating
to endangered species). Because the whitetail is the millions-of-years-old,
ubiquitous generalist that can survive in hundreds of different habitats,
they were unaffected, and probably even benefited from the expansion of
the human population. The whitetail's decimation was due to over
Happily, through conservation efforts, whitetails have been brought back to plentiful, and even excessive numbers. The whitetail populations tend to expand explosively because their historic predators, the large carnivores, are not available to do the culling, and because agriculture provides them with access to quantities of high quality feed never found naturally.
Whitetail deer are the focus of ongoing research directed toward informed, effective management of their population size and health. Goals usually include producing mature and healthy trophy bucks, preventing the overpopulation (especially of does), that dooms the animals to illness, starvation and desperate winter deaths. The whitetail's future is secure, but it is up to us to optimize it.
MULE DEER AND BLACKTAIL