South Florida Deer Study

The South Florida Deer Study is a multifaceted research collaboration involving the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, the Jones Center at Ichauway, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service investigating factors influencing deer population dynamics in Bear Island and North Addition Land Units of Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP), and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

In South Florida, deer are both an important game species and the primary prey of the endangered Florida panther.  Recent deer population declines, particularly in the southern portion of the BCNP and Everglades National Park, have coincided with changing hydrological regimes, habitat conditions, predator communities, and hunting regulations.  A thorough understanding of what factors influence deer populations in this system and a cost-effective monitoring method are necessary for justifiable and defensible management actions. Management practices that result in stable, healthy deer populations are essential for the continuation of the long-term hunting tradition in the region and the sustainability of the critically endangered Florida panther.


Michael J. Cherry, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Elina Garrison, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Mike Conner, The Jones Center at Ichauway

Robert J. Warren, University of Georgia (retired)

David Shindle, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Karl V. Miller, University of Georgia

Final report

Click on this link to download the final report.