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Odocoileus hemionus 

Scope: Global
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Cervidae

Scientific Name: Odocoileus hemionus
Species Authority: (Rafinesque, 1817)
Common Name(s):
English Mule Deer, Black-tailed Deer, Cedros Island Mule Deer, Cedros Island Black-tailed Deer
Spanish Bura, Venado Mulo(a)
Taxonomic Notes: A number of subspecies have been identified (Anderson and Wallmo 1984):
O. h. californicus (Caton, 1876) – California Mule Deer;
O. h. cerrosensis Merriam, 1898 – Cedros Island Deer;
O. h. columbianus (Richardson, 1829) – Columbian Black-tailed Deer;
O. h. crooki (Mearns, 1897) (eremicus Mearns and canus Merriam are synonyms), Heffelfinger (2000) considered O. h. eremicus as the correct name for Desert Mule Deer, because the specimen type of this subspecies is a hybrid of Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer;
O. h. fuliginatus Cowan, 1933 – Southern Mule Deer;
O. h. hemionus (Rafinesque, 1817) – Rocky Mountain Mule Deer;
O. h. inyoensis Cowan, 1933 (the validity is questionable) – Inyo Mule Deer;
O. h. peninsulae (Lydekker, 1898) – Peninsula Mule Deer;
O. h. sheldoni Goldman, 1939 – Tiburon Island Mule Deer;
O. h. sitkensis Merriam, 1898 – Sitka Black-tailed Deer.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-16
Assessor(s): Sanchez Rojas, G. and Gallina Tessaro, S.
Reviewer(s): Zanetti, E.S.Z. & González, S.
Justification:
This species is considered to be Least Concern in light of its adaptability to a wide range of habitats, large populations, occurrence in numerous protected areas, and populations seem to be relatively stable. But there are subspecies that are in danger of becoming extinct e.g. Odocoileus hemionus cerrosensis because on the island where it occurs, density is very low, because there are feral dogs and predation is high.

One obstacle involved in evaluating mule deer populations trend is inconsistent and incomplete data collections as stated by Carpenter et al. (2003). This problem results from the wide variety of methodologies and approaches used by states and provinces for Mule Deer management. There is a real need to standardize many of the methodologies to obtain data collections and establish protocols to obtain those measurements about Mule Deer populations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Odocoileus hemionus occurs throughout western North America from Alaska and Western Canada through the Rocky Mountains and Western Plains States of the United States south to the Peninsula of Baja California, Cedro Island, Tiburon Island and Northwestern Mexico. The southernmost distribution reaches central Mexico, but the historical boundary is not very clear (Sanchez-Rojas and Gallina 2007).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon); Mexico (Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Sonora, Tamaulipas); United States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaiian Is. - Introduced, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Introduced:
Argentina
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Where they occur Mule Deer populations are typically managed by federal, state and provincial agencies that monitor abundance and trends in order to set species management objectives. As a result Mule Deer remain abundant throughout much of their native range and are not currently in urgent need of further conservation action, but some evidence in the United State and Canada has shown declines in some populations (Bellard et al. 2001). Additionally in Mexico some data show local extinction of some populations in the Chihuahuan desert region of Coahuila and Nuevo León Mexico (Martínez-Muñoz et al. 2002), and in some populations we found evidence of metapopulation dynamics for this specie (Sanchez- Rojas and Gallina 2000).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Mule Deer are well adapted to a variety of habitats including temperate forest, desert and semidesert, open range, grassland, field and scrub habitats as well as Mountainous areas.
Systems:Terrestrial
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is mainly used as a game animal, for trophy hunting. In Mexico mainly in northwestern states as Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Today the most urgent threat to Mule Deer in the wild is the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Currently CWD is more prominent at the local or regional level. CWD has currently been diagnosed in Mule Deer in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States and other mid-western states. Other threats include: high predator populations (including feral dogs), competition with livestock grazing, human habitat alterations and other anthropogenic forces. Although most of the subspecies are not threatened, the Cedro Island subspecies (Odocoileus hemionus cerrocensis) is considered to be Vulnerable (IUCN 1988) because of the low numbers and the high predation by feral dogs and poaching.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in several protected areas across its distribution, some subspecies that live on islands are endangered.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.2. Forest - Subarctic
suitability:Marginal  
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability:Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability:Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable  
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability:Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.1. Shrubland - Subarctic
suitability:Marginal  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Marginal  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability:Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.2. Grassland - Subarctic
suitability:Marginal  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability:Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.7. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Marginal  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.9. Wetlands (inland) - Freshwater Springs and Oases
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.12. Wetlands (inland) - Geothermal Wetlands
suitability:Marginal  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.13. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Inland Deltas
suitability:Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.15. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes and Flats
suitability:Marginal  
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability:Suitable  
8. Desert -> 8.2. Desert - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  
8. Desert -> 8.3. Desert - Cold
suitability:Marginal  
12. Marine Intertidal -> 12.5. Marine Intertidal - Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
suitability:Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability:Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability:Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability:Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability:Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Suitable  
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.8. Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
suitability:Suitable  
0. Root -> 16. Introduced vegetation
suitability:Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.3. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.6. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.3. Other ecosystem modifications
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Canis familiaris ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.5. Viral/prion-induced diseases -> 8.5.2. Named species
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Ballard, W.B., Lutz, D., Keegan, T.W., Carpenter, L.H. and deVos Jr., J C. 2001. Deer-Predator Relationships: A Review of Recent North American Studies with Emphasis on Mule and Black-Tailed Deer. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29: 99-115.

Heffelfinger J. 2000. Status of the name Odocoileus hemionus crooki (Mammalia: Cervidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 113: 319-333.

IUCN. 1988. 1988 IUCN red list of threatened animals. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Martinez-Muñoz, A., Hewitt, D.G., Valenzuela, S., Uvalle, J.I, Estrada, A.E., Avendaño, J.J. and Aranda, R. 2003. Habitat and population status of desert mule deer in Mexico. Zeitschrift für Jagdwissenschaft 49: 14-24.

Sánchez-Rojas, G. and Gallina, S. 2000. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) density in a landscape elements of the Chihuahuan desert, Mexico. Journal of Arid Environments 44: 357-368.

Sanchez- Rojas, G., and Gallina, S. 2007. Metapoblaciones, el reto en la biología de la conservación: el caso del venado bura en el Bolsón de Mapimí.


Citation: Sanchez Rojas, G. and Gallina Tessaro, S. 2016. Odocoileus hemionus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42393A22162113. . Downloaded on 24 September 2016.
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