i know true albinos are all white. but i also know white deer are very rare in the wild. i have been seeing 4-7 deer in a beanfield near lake j-ville in illinois. now, one is all whiteto the eye, one is 80% white and the others are brown/tan. is anyone from jacksonville that has seen these deer??
i cant believe these could be whitetails and the area isnt a buzz about it. if the are not and are free roaming can the be shot during bow seaon as a nonnative deer?
Albino, Piebald, and Melanistic Whitetail Deer.
Among the questions most often asked are "What causes some deer to be albinos?" "How common are they?" "Are they protected?" and "Can they reproduce?" Albinism is a recessive trait found in mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and even plants. These plants and animals do not have the gene for normal coloration and do not produce the enzyme responsible for skin, hair and tissue coloration. Albinism is the total absence of body pigment. The eyes of an albino are pink, because blood vessels behind the lenses show through the unpigmented irises. As you might guess, albinism is not a desirable trait for either predators or prey species. Being totally white year-round makes concealment difficult. Also, many albinos have poor eyesight. In the game of life, where survival of the fittest is the rule, albinos have a strike against them from the start. Perhaps that is why albinos are rare.Because albinism is a recessive trait, both parents must carry the gene before it can occur in their offspring. An albino deer bred to another albino would have only albinos. An albino bred to a normal deer with no recessive genes for albinism would produce all normally pigmented deer. Offspring from this cross would carry the recessive gene for albinism but would be normally colored. When carriers of albinism breed there is a one-in-four chance they will produce an albino fawn. Recessive genetic traits typically become less common unless they confer a survival advantage or are artificially enhanced through selective breeding. Based on hunter reports, about one deer in 30,000 is an albino. Not all white deer are true albinos. Some white whitetails have normally pigmented noses, eyes and hooves. This is a genetic mutation for hair color but not other pigments.
Piebald deer have patches of white hair but are otherwise normally colored. Piebalds are thought to be more common than albinos. Depending on what part of the country you are from these deer are sometimes referred to as pintos and come in various amounts of white and brown.
Melanistic deer are very dark sometimes even black. Melanism results from overproduction of pigment and is less common than albinism. Hunters see dark deer with some frequency but to actually see a Melanistic deer is rare.
Protecting albinos, piebald and melanistic deer from hunting would have no biological impact and probably would not result in an increase of these traits.