Key Deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) are an exciting part of a visit to the Florida Keys, a string of islands dividing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Patience pays off when trying to observe them. When first looking, you might not readily spot the deer.
A stop at the visitors center, and Jean might tip you off to where you can see them. Her tips lead to these pictures (and many others, not posted here.) Someone else came up as the photographer was taking the pictures and scared off the deer...so, what does that suggest? To me, it says, "if you want good pictures you likely need to sit quietly and wait." What do you think about taking photos of wildlife?
Did you see only the deer, or, did you also see the plants the deer was munching on? Were you plant blind? Remember that the deer (and we, too) rely on plants for many purposes. What plants do you see?
Have you thought about what the Key Deer eat? I know some people have felt bad that their gardens were eaten. But, what if you want to know more? Science literacy can help students get into journal articles that are original source laboratory reports. One technique for improving science literacy, and finding out more about what the deer eat, is to encourage Reach Reading tm into the journals. For example, http://www.jstor.org/pss/3809097 is about the plant foods deer browse on and how to foster their growth. It may be of interest to some students.
- Fire in Key Deer Habitat Improves Browse, Prevents Succession, and Preserves Endemic Herbs Peter C. Carlson, George W. Tanner, John M. Wood and Stephen R. Humphrey The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 57, No. 4 (Oct., 1993), pp. 914-928. Published by: Allen Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809097
Survival, mortality, and life expectancy of Florida Key Deer LOPEZ Roel R. (1) ; VIEIRA Mark E. P.
(2) ; SILVY Nova J. (1); FRANK Philip A. (3) ; WHISENANT Shane W. (1) ; JONES Dustin A. (1) ; Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)(1) Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, ETATS-UNIS (2) Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, ETATS-UNIS (3) U.S. Fish and Wildiife Service, National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, ETATS-UNIS http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=14606308
- http://184.108.40.206/scholar?q=cache:dwJRzf4C-0kJ:scholar.google.com/+Key+deer&hl=en&as_sdt=40000 .... A thesis...more on this later... Dr. J
(c)2010 J S Shipman. All rights reserved (text and photo(s)).