Florida Key deer: Workshops planned to discuss endangered species

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Researchers and Florida Keys wildlife managers are scheduling public workshops to discuss goals for an endangered deer species unique to the island chain.

A record number of Key deer deaths were reported last year. National Key Deer Refuge Manager Nancy Finley tells The Key West Citizen that cars are the main cause of death for the deer.

Key deer deaths have risen from 112 in 2007 to 197 in 2012. Three-quarters of those deaths were blamed on vehicle collisions.

Duane Diefenbach of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State University will oversee the group hosting the public meetings. He says Key deer "need to be protected and local residents need to be comfortable with the process."

Three workshops will be held from January through March.

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