Columbian white-tailed deer downlisted to threatened

On Oct. 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus), a rare subspecies found in the Pacific Northwest, has been downlisted from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The Columbian white-tailed deer – the only subspecies found west of the Cascade Mountain Range – was first listed as endangered in 1967 due to threats from habitat loss and human activity. Thanks to a collaborative effort between USFWS, state wildlife agencies, and native tribes, the deer has recovered to the point that it is no longer designated as endangered. Recovery efforts included the establishment of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, which maintains deer habitat in Washington and Oregon. Columbian white-tailed deer were also translocated to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington to create a stable subpopulation. The Lower Columbia River population of deer was comprised of 450 individuals at the time of listing; now, there are 900 deer in the area.

Read more from USFWS Pacific Region.

Header Image: A Columbian white-tailed buck at the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. ©Blu Chaney/USFWS