What would happen if….? Can you predict what happens? These are some possibilities….can you think of some others?
There was no National Key Deer Refuge! The National Key Deer Refuge was never created in the 1950’s. At the time there were only about 50 deer alive. What happens if the refuge wasn’t created? What are the biggest threats to the deer? Would these threats have ultimately destroyed the deer?
No Refuge? No Deer … probably! Without the conservation plan of the refuge this most likely would have happened.. Since the number one killer of the deer are cars, no restrictions would have been put in place to protect the deer from traffic. People would continue feeding the deer, disease would spread. Lack of habitat would require deer to stay closer together, disease would spread. Lack of land preservation would cause less food to be available for the deer.
Global Warming Continues! The Earth’s atmosphere continues to heat up! The polar ice caps are melting! What happens to the deer? Better yet…what happens to the Keys?
Ice Caps Melt…no Keys….probably! As temperatures rise, the ice caps will continue to melt. Just like thousands of years ago, the water levels will rise. If seas rise just 20 ft. most of the Keys will be gone. You might be able to see a Key Deer in the zoo….maybe.
The Oil Spill Spreads The BP Oil Spill spreads and oil starts heading to the Keys. A think layer of ooze comes ashore and coats the mangrove forests off No Name and Big Pine Key. What happens?
They may just survive….maybe Since the deer mainly rely on freshwater found in pools on the keys their water supply may not become tainted. In addition, although the deer do eat mangroves, their primary food is found further inland, and this should not be completely destroyed by the oil. In addition, people will most likely leave the Keys in order to get away from the oil creating more habitat for the deer.