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Columbian White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus leucurus


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Columbian White-tailed Deer
© J & K Hollingsworth/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Cervidae, Deer view all from this family

Description A medium-size deer. Brown to grayish- or grizzled-brown above. White below. Tail brown, edged with white above; white below. Buck’s antlers have main beam forward, several unbranched tines behind, and a small brow tine; antler spread to 3' (90 cm). Doe rarely has antlers. Fawn spotted. Ht to 45" (114 cm); L to7' (2.13 m); T to 13" (33 cm); HF 20" (51.2 cm); Wt male to 310 lb (141 kg), female to 211 lb (96 kg).

Endangered Status The Columbian White-tailed Deer, a subspecies of the White-tailed Deer, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Washington and Oregon. This deer once ranged from Puget Sound to southern Oregon, where it lived in floodplain and riverside habitat. The conversion of much of its homeland to agriculture and unrestricted hunting reduced its numbers to a just a few hundred in the early 20th century. It now lives in a few scattered populations, and its numbers have climbed to over 6,000. Nonetheless the species remains quite vulnerable; in 1996 half the Washington population was wiped out by flooding. Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian Whitetail Deer provides critical habitat for these deer in southern Washington.

Habitat Coastal and inland floodplains, in woodlands and scrub.

Range Washington and Oregon.