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Encyclopedia > White tailed deer
?White-tailed Deer
Conservation status: Least concern (LR/lc)

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Genus: Odocoileus
Species: O. virginianus
Binomial name
Odocoileus virginianus
Zimmermann, 1780

The White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer found throughout most of the continental United States, southern Canada, Mexico, Central America and northern portions of South America as far south as Peru. The species is most common east of the American cordillera, and is absent from much of the western United States, including Nevada, Utah and California. It does, however, survive in aspen parklands and deciduous river bottomlands within the Central and Northern Great Plaines, and in mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley bottomlands, and lower foothills of the Northern Rocky Mountain Regions from Wyoming to Southeastern British Colombia. The conversion of land adjacent to the Northern Rocky Mountains into agriculture use and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees (resulting in widespread deciduous vegetation) is in favor of white-tailed deer in this region. The westernmost population, the Colombian white-tailed deer once was widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette River and Cowlitz River Valleys of Western Oregon and Southwestern Washington (endangered). There are also populations of Arizona (couesi) and Carmen Mountains (carminis) white-tailed deer that inhabit the mountain mixed deciduous/pine forests of Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas extending southwards into Mexico. As a result of introductions, white-tailed deer are found also in localised areas of northern Europe such as Finland. White-tailed deer are generalists and can adapt to a wide variety of habitats. Although most often thought of as forest animals depending on relatively small openings and edges, white-tailed deer can equally adapt themselves to life in more open savanna and even sage communities as in Texas and in the Venezuelan llanos region. The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... In the Northeast, the white-tailed deer is the primary host for adult blacklegged ticks. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Phyla Subregnum Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subregnum Agnotozoa Placozoa (trichoplax) Orthonectida (orthonectids) Rhombozoa (dicyemids) Subregnum Eumetazoa Radiata (unranked) (radial symmetry) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Bilateria (unranked) (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Myxozoa (slime animals) Superphylum Deuterostomia (blastopore becomes anus) Chordata (vertebrates, etc. ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Multituberculata (extinct) Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Australosphenida Ausktribosphenida Monotremata Subclass Eutheria (excludes extinct ancestors) Afrosoricida Anagaloidea (extinct) Arctostylopida (extinct) Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Cimolesta (extinct) Cingulata Creodonta (extinct) Condylarthra (extinct) Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Dinocerata (extinct) Embrithopoda (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Leptictida (extinct) Litopterna (extinct) Macroscelidea Mesonychia (extinct) Notoungulata... Families Suidae Hippopotamidae Tayassuidae Camelidae Tragulidae Moschidae Cervidae Giraffidae Antilocapridae Bovidae The even-toed ungulates form the mammal order Artiodactyla. ... Genera About 15 in 4 subfamilies. ... Binomial name Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann, 1780 Subspecies Odocoileus virginianus clavium Odocoileus virginianus leucurus Odocoileus virginianus virginianus The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer found throughout most of the continental United States, southern Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America far... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann (August 17, 1743 - July 4, 1815) was a German geographer and zoologist. ... Subfamilies Capreolinae Cervinae Hydropotinae Muntiacinae A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. ... Depending on usage, the term continental United States can refer to either: the 48 contiguous states plus the District of Columbia; or the 48 contiguous states plus the District of Columbia and Alaska. ... Map of Central America Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... The American cordillera consists of an essentially continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western backbone of both North America and South America. ... If you have been redirected here after viewing any statistical information, note that as defined by the Census Bureau, the western United States includes 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,876 sq mi (219,887 km²)  - Width 270 miles (435 km)  - Length 350 miles (565 km)  - % water 3. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Habitat (from the Latin for it inhabits) is the place where a particular species lives and grows. ... Los Llanos (meaning the flat plains) is a vast tropical grassland plain situated at the east of the Andes in northwestern South America (Colombia and Venezuela). ...

Contents

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Description

The deer can be recognised by the characteristic white underside to its tail, which it shows as a signal of alarm by raising the tail during escape. The male (also known as a buck) usually weighs from 60 to 100 kg (130 to 220 pounds) but, in rare cases, animals in excess of 160 kg (350 pounds) have been recorded. The female (doe) usually weighs from 40 to 60 kg (90 to 130 pounds), but some can weigh as much as 75 or 80 kg (165 to 175 pounds). The deer's coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer, and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter. Males one year of age or older have antlers. Antlers begin to grow in early spring, covered with a highly vascularised tissue known as velvet. A buck's spred can be any were from 3-25 inches. Bucks shed their antlers when all females have been bred, Which can range from late December to February. Females enter oestrus, colloquially called the rut, in the fall, normally in late October or early November, triggered mainly by declining photoperiod. Sexual maturation of females depends on population density. Females can mature in their first year, although this is unusual and would occur only at very low population levels. Most females mature at one or, sometimes, two years of age. Males compete for the opportunity of breeding females. Sparring among males determines a dominance hierarchy. Bucks will attempt to copulate with as many females as possible, losing physical condition since they barely eat or rest during the rut. The general geographical trend is for the rut to be shorter in duration at increased latitude. Females give birth to one, two or even possibly three spotted young, known as fawns in mid to late spring, generally in May or June. Fawns lose their spots during the first summer and will weigh from 20 to 35 kg by the first winter. Male fawns tend to be slightly larger and heavier than females. For the Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, see Antler (Poet). ... The estrus cycle (also Å“strus or estrous cycle) refers to the recurring physiologic changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian placental females (humans and great apes are the only mammals who undergo a menstrual cycle instead). ... Photoperiodicity is the physiological reaction of organisms to the length of day or night. ... Dominance in the context of biology and anthropology is the state of having high social status relative to other individuals, who react submissively to dominant individuals. ...

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Range and population

White-tailed deer fawn at Ricketts Glen State Park.
White-tailed deer fawn at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Historically, market gunning, unregulated hunting and poor land-use practices, including deforestation severely depressed deer populations in much of their range. For example, by about 1930, the U.S. population was thought to number about 300,000. After an outcry by hunters and other conservation ecologists, commercial exploitation of deer became illegal and conservation programs along with regulated hunting were introduced to solve the problem. Recent estimates put the deer population in the United States at around 30 million. These changes were so successful that, in some areas, deer populations are very high and the animal is considered a nuisance. Motor vehicle collisions with deer are a serious problem in many parts of the animals's range, especially at night and during rutting season, causing injuries and fatalities among both deer and humans. At high population densities, farmers can suffer economic damage by deer depredation of cash crops, especially in maize and orchards. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1394x1095, 507 KB)White tailed Deer Fawn Taken by User:Mwanner, June 20, 2005 at Ricketts Glen State Park File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1394x1095, 507 KB)White tailed Deer Fawn Taken by User:Mwanner, June 20, 2005 at Ricketts Glen State Park File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Genera About 15 in 4 subfamilies. ... Bald Eagle at Lake Jean Ricketts Glen State Park near Benton, Pennsylvania is a 13,050-acre (5. ... It has been suggested that Big-game hunter be merged into this article or section. ... 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link is to a full 1930 calendar). ... Some conservation ecologists have been concerned about the Amazon rainforest. ... A car accident in Yate, near Bristol, England, in July 2004. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin for wise man or knowing man) under the family Hominidae (known as the great apes). ... Binomial name Zea mays L. Maize (Zea mays ssp. ... An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs maintained for food production. ...


The species is the state animal of Arkansas, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, as well as the provincial animal of Saskatchewan. The profile of a White-tailed deer buck caps the Vermont coat-of-arms and can be seen in the Flag of Vermont and in stained glass at the Vermont State House. Texas is home to more white-tailed deer than any other U.S. state or Canadian province, with an estimated population over four million. A state animal is the official or representative animal of a U.S. state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Little Rock Largest city Little Rock Area  Ranked 29th  - Total 53,179 sq mi (137,732 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 261 miles (420 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (149,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 160 miles (255 km)  - Length 280 miles (455 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32°430N to 35... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Motto: Multis E Gentibus Vires (Latin: From many peoples, strength) Official languages English Flower Western Red Lily Capital Regina Largest city Saskatoon Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Barnhart Premier Lorne Calvert (NDP) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 14 6 Area Total  - Land  - Water    (% of total)  Ranked 7th 651,036 km² 591... Categories: Stub | U.S. state flags ... The Vermont State House The Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, Vermont, is the capitol and seat of government of the U.S. state of Vermont. ... Official language(s) See: Languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 268,581 sq mi (695,622 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... A state of the United States is any one of the fifty subnational entities referred to as a state (although four officially favor the term commonwealth) which, along with the District of Columbia, under the provisions of the United States Constitution form the United States of America. ... Map of Canada Canada is a federation of ten provinces which, together with three territories, comprise the worlds second largest country in total area. ...


White-tailed deer were introduced to Finland in 1935. The introduction was successful, and the deer have recently begun spreading through northern Scandinavia and southern Karelia, competing with, and sometimes displacing, native fauna. The current population of some 30 000 deer originate from four animals provided by Finnish Americans from Minnesota. 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe named after the Scandinavian Peninsula. ... Map showing the parts Karelia is traditionally divided into. ... Fauna is a collective term for animal life of any particular region or time. ... Finnish Americans are Americans of Finnish descent, who currently number at about 700,000. ...


In many states in the U.S. and in several Canadian provinces, hunting for white-tailed deer is deeply ingrained in local cultures and is central to the economy of many rural areas. The word culture, from the Latin colo, -ere, with its root meaning to cultivate, generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ...


A sub-race of the white-tailed deer is white - not albino - in colour. The former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York, has the largest known concentration of white deer. Strong conservation efforts have allowed this race to thrive within the confines of the depot. The Wonderful Albino Family. ... The former Seneca Army Depot occupied 10,587 acres (43 km²) between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake in Seneca County New York. ... Romulus is a town located in Seneca County, New York. ... Official language(s) English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width 285 miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ...


In the western portions of the United States and Canada, the white-tailed deer range overlaps with those of the black-tailed deer and mule deer. In the extreme north of the range, their habitat is also exploited by moose in some areas. White-tails may occur in areas that are also exploited by elk (wapiti) such as in mixed deciduous river valley bottomlands and formerly in the mixed deciduous forest of Eastern United States. White-tails are shy and more reclusive than the coexisting mule deer, elk, and moose. Trinomial name Odocoileus hemionus columbianus Richardson, 1829 Like all deer, black-tailed deer are herbivores. ... Binomial name Odocoileus hemionus (Rafinesque, 1817) The Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. ... Binomial name Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758) Moose range map Alces alces, called the moose in North America and the elk in Europe (see also elk for other animals called elk) is the largest member of the deer family Cervidae, distinguished from other members of Cervidae by the form of the... Binomial name Cervus elaphus Linnaeus, 1758 Subspecies Numerous - see text. ...

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Classification

Until recently, some taxonomists have attempted to separate white-tailed deer into a host of subspecies, based largely on morphological differences. Genetic studies, however, suggest that there are, fewer subspecies within the animal's range as compared to the 30 to 40 subspecies that some scientists described in the last century. The Florida Key deer, O. virginianus clavium, and the Columbian white-tailed deer, O. virginianus leucurus are both listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The dominant subspecies across the deer's range is the Virginia white-tail, O. virginianus virginianus which is also the type species for the Odocoileus genus. White-tailed deer have tremendous genetic variation and are adaptable to several environments. Several local deer populations, especially in the Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont Regions of Eastern United States are descended from white-tailed deer transplanted from other areas. Some of these deer may have been from northern mixed forests in the Great Lakes Region, or from more open savannas and riparian bottomlands in the midwest and Texas, yet are also quite at home in the Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont Regions. These deer over time have intermixed with the local indigenous deer populations. Look up taxonomy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In zoology, as in other branches of biology, subspecies is the rank immediately subordinate to a species. ... Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. ... ... Trinomial name Odocoileus virginianus leucurus Douglas, 1829 The Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) is one of 30 subspecies of the white-tailed deer in North America, and one of two subspecies found in Oregon, the other being the Idaho white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus ochrourus). ... The Endangered Species Act (, et seq. ... Type specimens When a new species is discovered, more important than creating a new and unique name for the species is developing a reasonably detailed description. ... In biology, a genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic grouping. ...


Central and South America have a complex number of white-tailed deer subspecies that range from Southern Mexico as far south as Peru. This list of subspecies of deer is more exhaustive than the North American list of subspecies and is also questionable, but populations are difficult to study due to over-hunting in many parts and lack of protection. Some areas no longer carry deer, so it is difficult to assess the genetic difference of these animals. Central American white-tailed deer prefer tropical dry deciduous forests, seasonal mixed deciduous forests, and savanna habitats over dense rainforests and cloud forests.


South American subspecies of white-tailed deer live in two types of environent. The first environment is the savannahs, dry deciduous forests, and riparian corridors of Southern Venezuela and Eastern Colombia. The other environment is the higher elevation mountain grassland/mixed forest ecotones in the Andes Mountains from Venezuela to Bolivia and Peru. The Andean white-tailed deer seem to retain gray coats due to the colder weather at high altitutes, whereas the lowland savanna forms retain the reddish brown coats. South American white-tailed deer, like those in Central America, generally avoid dense rainforests and cloud forests.


Perhaps the biggest overall genetic distinction is between North American white-tailed deer and the South American white-tailed deer.

Male white-tail from Kansas
Enlarge
Male white-tail from Kansas

Below is information on white-tailed deer classification and taxonomy, and some of the subspecies of white-tailed deer. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x834, 80 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: White-tailed Deer ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x834, 80 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: White-tailed Deer ...

  • Family Cervidae
    • Subfamily Odocoileinae
      • Genus Odocoileus
        • Species O. virginianus (some nearctic and neotropic subspecies)
          • Odocoileus virginianus clavium (Key deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus ochrourus (Northwest white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus couesi (Coues deer/Arizona white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus leucurus (Columbian white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus virginianus (Virginia white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus mcilhennyi (Avery Island white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus texanus (Texas white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus truei (Central American white-tailed deer found in Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province)
          • Odocoileus virginianus carminis (Carmen Mountains white-tailed deer)
          • Odocoileus virginianus apurensis (or gymnotis) (South American white-tailed deer found in Venezuela's Llanos Region)
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Subfamilies Capreolinae Cervinae Hydropotinae Muntiacinae A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. ... The Nearctic is one of the eight terrestrial ecozones dividing the Earths land surface. ... The Neotropic ecozone is a terrestrial ecoregion which includes South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. ... ... Trinomial name Odocoileus virginianus leucurus Douglas, 1829 The Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) is one of 30 subspecies of the white-tailed deer in North America, and one of two subspecies found in Oregon, the other being the Idaho white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus ochrourus). ... Guanacaste is a province of Costa Rica. ... Los Llanos (meaning the flat plains) is a vast tropical grassland plain situated at the east of the Andes in northwestern South America (Colombia and Venezuela). ...

See also

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Subfamilies Capreolinae Cervinae Hydropotinae Muntiacinae A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. ...

References

  • Deer Specialist Group (1996). Odocoileus virginianus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  • Odocoileus virginianus (TSN 180699). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed on 18 March 2006.
  • Geist, Dr. Valerius, "Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology", Stackpole Books, 1998
  • Harper, Craig. 1999, Quality Deer Management Guidelines for Implementation. The University of Tennessee Extension Office. Online available at http://www.wutextention.utk.edu/
  • Halls, Lowell K., White-tailed Deer Ecology and Management: A Wildlife Management Institute Book, Stackpole Books, 1984.
  • Jacobson, Harry, et. al. 1997. Infrared triggered cameras for censusing white tailed deer. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 25(2):547-556.
  • Koerth, Ben H., C.D. McKown, and J. Kroll. 1997. Infrared-triggered camera versus helicopter counts of white-tailed deer. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25(2):557-562.
  • The Nobel Foundation, 2005. Population Management: Population Regulation. Online available at http://www.noble.org/Ag/Wildlife/DeerFoods/PopulationMngt3.html
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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) is a partnership designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species. ... March 18 is the 77th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (78th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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