Species / International Ovis

Baja Blacktail

Odocoileus hemionus peninsulae

Location

Found on the Baja Peninsula from the southern boarder of California to Caba San Lucas (southern tip of the Baja Peninsula).

Behavior

Baja Blacktail deer live in small family groups of does, yearlings and fawns. Bucks are usually solitary, or sometimes in very small bachelor groups. A group is likely to be spread out rather than in close association. The rut begins in October and lasts two months. Dominance fights between males are less competitive than in other deer species, being largely bluff. Fawns (usually two, sometimes three) are born May-June. Life expectancy is usually 8-12 years in the wild. This deer feeds mainly in early morning and evening, usually resting at midday and night. It is primarily a browser, but will graze on occasion. Senses of smell and hearing are acute, with vision less so. They are able to run 35 mph for short distances, but unable to maintain speed for long. They bound away in a series of high leaps when disturbed and can cover 25 feet horizontally in a single leap. The Baja Blacktail deer is a very strong swimmer. Its main predators are coyotes, but also cougars.

Description

Mature Baja blacktail deer bucks (3 1/2 years old and older) vary in body weight, depending on the resources in their habitat. Baja blacktail bucks are smaller than the typical mule deer bucks found elsewhere in North America which can range from about 150 pounds up to well over 300 pounds. Females (does) are much smaller. As with North American mule deer, but typically smaller in size, Baja blacktail deer are rather heavily built, with a thickset body and legs. The ears are long and wide, resembling those of a mule. The antlers of a mature buck are large and widespread. The summer coat is thin and varies in color from tan to rusty-red. The rump, belly and inside of the legs are white. The face and throat are whitish, with a black patch on the forehead and a black bar around the chin. The tail is white with a black tip, and sometimes the base of the tail is brown. The underside tail hairs are not erectile and the tail is not used for signaling.

Habitat

Arid conditions with rugged cacti-covered terrain; desert shrub in the lowlands and semi-deciduous forests in the more humid mountains.

Remarks

The Baja Blacktail is only counted towards the GSCO Rex Baker Super 40® milestone.

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