Texas A&M Key deer team honored with USFWS regional award

The Texas A&M University Key deer team was recently honored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Southeast Region as a 2016 Regional Recovery Champion.

The team is led by Dr. Nova Silvy, Regents Professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, and Dr. Roel Lopez, director of the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute. It was recognized for its extraordinary efforts on the recovery of the endangered Key deer and its participation in the protective management of the Key deer during a recent New World screwworm outbreak.

According to USFWS, the team has contributed to recovery of the Key deer population by providing a greater understanding of the species abundance, population dynamics and viability. It was also largely responsible for a translocation effort that re-established populations on Cudjoe and Sugarloaf Keys. This led to an expansion of the overall population that now includes most of the historical range of the Key deer, adding redundancy and increasing representation throughout the population.

The Texas A&M team made its top priority to provide the necessary information and guidance needed to respond to the recent outbreak, according to USFWS. Their dedication and almost 70 years of combined experience have helped bring the Key deer population to its current improved status.

For more news about the team’s efforts on the recent screwworm outbreak, read this AgriLife Today news release.

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