Found across America, mule deer (often shortened to just “deer”) thrive in great numbers in Yellowstone’s ecosystem. Researchers believe that over 120,000 deer inhabit the greater Yellowstone ecosystem with at least 2,500 residing within the park’s boundaries. The deer’s black-tipped tails starkly contrast with their white rump, and huge bobbing ears similar to those of mule earned the deer its common name. The species’ amazing sense of hearing allows the animal to survive in habitats filled with larger, stronger animals searching for prey. Inhabiting Yellowstone’s forests and meadows, mule deer depend upon tree bark, shrubs, grasses, and leafy herbs for survival. Bucks (males) fight for mating rights each autumn, and mature does sustain the deer population, giving birth to twin fawns each summer. 

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