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New breeding program to reintroduce Whitetail Deer

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The Environmental Management Unit (UMA) Vereda Xcalacoco is trying to set up a breeding program that will see the return of the Whitetail Deer.

For the past two years, babies born in captivity have not reached adulthood, often dying within a few months of their birth.

Jorge Fuentes Gomez, director of the UMA in the village of Xcalacoco, explains that the last death of a baby deer born in their captivity occurred only 30 days ago.

The project intends to increase the number of deer in the area by expanding the space where they live.

“What we want to do is expand the place where the new-born deer live as we have concluded that the space is inadequate to allow young deer to reach full development,” he said.

The current area where two male and six female deer are living is 12 square meters or 36 ft x 36 feet. Fuentes Gomez explains that they need to expand the area where the animals live and breed so that their offspring can reach adulthood and be reintroduced into the local habitat.

There is a concern, however, that the continued tourism development along the Riviera Maya may hinder the reintroduction of the species into the wild. The current breeding site for the Whitetail Deer (Odocoileus virgininianus) is just north of Playa del Carmen.

Fuentes Gomez says that they are confident they can successfully breed the deer on the property because they have successfully reproduced other species such as the curassow and ocellated turkeys.

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