White-tailed Deer on Fire Island
There are roughly 400 deer on Fire Island and 100 at the William Floyd Estate. The number of deer however is not as important as the impacts these animals have on the condition of natural habitats and historic plantings at the William Floyd Estate.
Learn more about the research which helps the National Park Service better understand the impact of white-tailed deer on Fire Island habitats and supported the development of the White-tailed Deer Management Plan.
Coexisting with Wildlife
We play an important role in preserving a balanced ecosystem, especially on Fire Island where people and nature coexist.
Some deer on Fire Island are accustomed to humans and tend not to flee. For this reason people can get very close to deer and, oftentimes, try to touch or feed them by hand.
Never feed wildlife. Feeding deer can change their natural behaviors and may affect their overall health. This is even true of inadvertent food sources like garbage or unsecured food items. Wildlife can become "food-conditioned" and may look for food near public spaces or garbage cans.
Food-conditioning can lead to undesirable and potentially unsafe human-deer interactions. Food-conditioned deer may also be more likely to become entangled in fencing, approach us, or be struck by a vehicle when in search of food.
Last updated: December 14, 2018