Sitka Deer - Feeding
In summer Sitka Deer feed on the green leaves of shrubs, twigs, forbs, ferns, sedges, algae, fruit, and herbaceous vegetation. They are mostly browsers and grazers. This deer species doesn't have upper front teeth and gulps down the food without chewing, just mashes the food against the palates. Microorganisms in their stomach digest the food, which is adapted to its natural diet. Sitka Deer cannot eat anything that they are not used to eating. They can even die of starvation with a full stomach. After eating, this deer will lie down in the brush and regurgitate food chewing the "cud," like cows.
| Courtesy of
The Alaska Zoo © 1999-2001
In the winter Sitka Deer feed on evergreen forbs, such as bunchberry and trailing bramble and the bark of trees. When snow is deep, deer eat blueberry, yellow cedar, hemlock, and arboreal lichens. Woody browse is not enough for this deer, and they deplete their energy reserves.
Sitka Deer - Threats
Sitka Black-tailed Deer population is dynamic and fluctuates with the severity of the winter. In mild winters deer numbers increase greatly. Predation regulates these situations. The main predators of Sitka Deer are the wolf and black and brown bears.
Also Sitka Deer suffer of numerous parasites and diseases (mostly lungworm), especially when their density is high. Sitka fawns are often orphaned in areas with active logging and the deer are run over by trucks. Nevertheless the reproductive potential of Sitka Deer is very high, and depressed populations recover rapidly.
Sitka Deer - General Info Links
| Courtesy of
Apogee Photo © 1995-2002
Apogee Photo Inc.
Alaska Zoo, Native Species - Featuring: Elmo, Princess, Ivy and Flower - Deer in the zoo.
Big Game - Presents general information on Sitka Deer.
Black-Tailed Deer in Southeast Alaska - Studies the influence of logging on Sitka Deer.
Deer in British Columbia - Information on the Sitka Deer and other related species.
Earthjustice: Newsroom - Alaska's future by ensuring the conservation and sustainable uses of our fish, salmon, and abundant populations of Sitka Black-tailed Deer.
Hunt Alaska: Sitka Black-tailed Deer - About Sitka Deer in Brief.
Hunting in Alaska - Contains lots of links to hunting guides of Alaska.
Kodiak Island, Alaska Wildlife Visitors Guide - Originally introduced in 1924, this mammal has been extremely successful on the island of Kodiak.
Lower Mainland Region - Problems of Sitka Deer and related species management are presented.
| Courtesy of
Northwest Trek © 2002
North America Outdoors - Facts about the Sitka Black-tailed Deer.
Odocoileus hemionus - Presents taxonomy of Sitka Deer and all other Deer.
Sitka Black-tailed Deer - A description of Sitka Black-tailed Deer, including where they live and the food that sustains them through the long winters.
Sitka Black-tailed Deer - Discover The Outdoors - Tells about the distribution and habits of Sitka Deer.
Sitka Deer Population Size - Methods of determining Deer population size.
Sitka Deer Winter Range - Tells about preliminary modeling of Deer winter ranges.
Species at Risk - Introduced Sitka Deer threaten ecosystem of Gwaii.
Sterile Bucks - An article on Sitka Deer diseases.
Terrestrial Animals - Contains general information on Sitka Deer and other animals of Alaska.
The Deer Family - Gives General description and classification of Deer.
Wildlife distribution and occurrence - Presents all types of Sitka Deer habitats.