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The Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) is a subspecies of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that is endemic to the Florida Keys in the United States. It is a small species of deer, with a reddish-brown coat and white underparts. The males have small, simple antlers.
Key deer are adapted to the unique habitats of the Florida Keys, including pine rocklands and tropical hardwood hammocks. They are herbivores and feed on a variety of vegetation, including leaves, shoots, and grasses.
These deer are shy and elusive and are primarily active at night. They are also known for their swim ability and are able to cross water to reach food and refuge.
Key deer populations have declined due to habitat loss, hunting, and vehicle collisions. The species is considered to be endangered and is protected by law in the United States. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their habitats and preserve their populations, including measures to control hunting, reduce road mortality, and support research and monitoring programs.