The mule deer is classified as “Least Concern” because it is adaptable to a wide range of habitats, has large, stable populations, and occurs in numerous protected areas.
The mule deer, as a species, is considered to be Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species in light of its adaptability to a wide range of habitats, large populations, occurrence in numerous protected areas, and populations that seem to be relatively stable.
Although the entirety of the mule deer species is considered Least Concern, there are subspecies that are in danger of becoming extinct. Most of the mule deer’s subspecies are not threatened, but the Cedros Island subspecies (O. h. cerrocensis) is considered to be “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, as of 1988. This subspecies is in danger of becoming extinct because its densities are very low on the island where it occurs and predation by feral dogs and poaching are high.
Other subspecies that live on islands are also considered endangered.