Key Deer Protection Alliance - title with pic of fawn

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Contact Us:

PO Box 430224
Big Pine Key, FL

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New feature:  You can now contribute to KDPA using a credit card.  Click the "Donate" button below, and you'll be taken to PayPal's secure transaction page.  Enter the amount, and you'll be prompted for credit card info. 


Site last updated 10/19/2017

KDPA website designed by Dennis Henize

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Welcome to our website!  We are the Key Deer Protection Alliance.  We're here to tell you about the Key deer, a very special endangered species unique to the Florida Keys, and how they (hopefully) are being saved from extinction... if their habitat doesn't keep disappearing.  As our name says, we are a group of citizens dedicated to protecting these endearing creatures, as extinction of any species bodes ill for our own survival.  

Please look around our website by clicking on the subjects on the menu to your left.  Enjoy learning about the Key deer and their existence on these islands, the threats they face, and about our organization and how we're helping to ensure survival of the Key deer.  And please consider joining KDPA.



Next Meeting Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:00 P.M.


Natureís Amazing Resilience
Post Hurricane Irma

By Kristie Killam, Park Ranger

October 17, 2017

 Itís been a little over a month since the National Key Deer Refuge in the Lower Florida Keys sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 hurricane.  Average winds were as high as 120-130 mph with gusts estimated in the 160+ mph range according to the National Weather Service in Key West. 

After the storm passed, initial observations suggested catastrophic impacts to habitats and wildlife, as well as to human dwellings.  The area looked like a tornado or wildfire swept through. Trees were ripped from the ground, or snapped in half, those that remained upright had leaves ripped off or were a burnt brown color from the salty winds. 

It was evident that in addition to the windstorm damage, a tremendous powerful storm surge had passed over the low elevation islands as well, in some areas as high as 7-10 feet above average.  Many people were wondering if there would be any recovery possible for the natural ecosystem, and many feared the worst.

Almost immediately though, there were signs of hope.  Key deer were spotted crossing the highway on Big Pine Key.  Some trees and shrubs, like blackbead and buttonwood sent out leaves within days, others would follow shortly thereafter.  Although the surge left behind waters that were too salty for most wildlife to drink, accommodations were put in place to provide supplemental drinking water. 

More and more Key deer were sighted as the days progressed.  Within just a few weeks frequent rains returned most freshwater and brackish wetlands to salinity levels suitable for most wildlife. 

Several box turtles and Lower Keys mud turtles have been spotted crossing roads.  A few endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbits were spotted in their usual hangouts.  Migratory songbirds and shorebirds were stopping over to rest and feed on their southbound migration, followed by peregrine falcons and other raptors looking for a meal.  Resident birds like cardinals, mourning doves, mockingbirds, and reddish egrets have all been observed. 

With each passing day the diverse habitats of this refuge, including pine rockland, hardwood hammocks, freshwater wetlands and mangroves, seem to get greener and greener with lush re-growth of vegetation. Although only time will tell what the long term impact of this hurricane will hold, one thing is clear, mother nature is amazing and resilient in her ability to overcome these natural challenges. 



Check the HELP KDPA page for details!


KDPA has endorsed an effort by the Florida Land and Water Legacy to pass a constitutional amendment. Check the NEWS & HAPPENINGS page for more info and the petition.

Meetings start at 7:00 PM  
(Second Thursday of the months of Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr)

Election of Board of Directors at the January meeting


KDPA will celebrate 28 years this year!!!

The Articles of Incorporation of the organization were filed with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations on May 2, 1989

Click here for some photos from the April 9 (2009) meeting and 20th anniversary celebration.

This website went online May 24, 2004.   Bookmark us and keep looking back for things we'll be adding.  Thanks for stopping by.

Throughout our website, clicking on the KDPA logo (left), or this button (right) will return you to this page.

Page last updated 10/19/2017

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