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Hilton Head white-tailed deer

Hilton Head white-tailed deer
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Odocoileus
O. v. hiltonensis
Trinomial name
Odocoileus virginianus hiltonensis
(Goldman and Kellog, 1940)

Hilton Head white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus hiltonensis) are a subspecies of white-tailed deer indigenous to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The deer live in a mainly suburban environment and have developed (according to a study) home range areas on the island.[1]

Hilton Head white-tailed deer are listed as a "species of concern" by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service although culling of the deer is regularly approved in order to reduce the population and prevent accidents. The culls caused controversy amongst area residents and wildlife groups.[2][3][4] Before culling was approved many of the deer were relocated across the island to spread out the herd.[5] Sea Pines Plantation, a mixed residential and natural area, became a site of controversy when residents complained about the deer eating their shrubbery, and causing property damage.[4] A University of Georgia professor formulated a plan[when?] to cut the subspecies population in half, which was met with a lawsuit against the University by local wildlife groups seeking to stop the program. The professor stated that the animals lack a natural predator on the island.[6] On August 27, 1998, an injunction by a local judge temporarily blocked any killing of the population.[7] The South Carolina Legislature designated Sea Pines a state wildlife sanctuary in 1971, but a circuit judge agreed that culling of the deer population was legal in 1999.[4][8] The South Carolina Supreme Court concurred with the ruling and allowed the culling to proceed so long as it was regulated by the state.[4][9] Subsequently there has been little opposition to the population reduction program, and after only three years the size of the herd had been reduced by 500.[4] Deer-vehicle collisions were also reduced from 60 per year to 10 per year.[4]


  1. ^ Loewer, Peter (2002). Solving deer problems: how to keep them out of the garden, avoid them on the road, and deal with them anywhere!. Globe Pequot. p. 69. ISBN 1-58574-672-X.
  2. ^ "Hilton Head White-Tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus hiltonensis)". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species" (PDF). Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. 1994. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Deer Debate in Hilton Grand, South Carolina". WUI Professional Development Program|Hilton Team Member Travel Program.
  5. ^ Cromwell, Jennifer; Robert Warren; David Henderson (1999). "jstor". Wildlife Society Bulletin. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 27: 1025–1031. JSTOR 3783662.
  6. ^ McCormack, Francia (September 16, 1998). "Oh, deer: Animal-rights activists sue". Red & Black. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Injunction Protect Hilton Head Deer - For Now". Associated Press. Herald-Journal. August 27, 1998. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Judge Allows Resort Deer Kill". Star-News. May 6, 1999. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Beaufort County Communities thinning out deer population". The Beaufort Gazette. November 17, 2004. Retrieved 10 April 2010.

External links

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