Friday, November 13, 2009

History of the White Deer of Seneca Lake

This is verbatim from Seneca White Deer Inc.

This is a fascinating story, and day after day, folks stop along the fenceline just to see these white deer. They arent tame but they are less afraid of people. Pretty amazing!


How It Began

White DeerIn 1941, 24 miles of security fencing enclosed the area now known as the Conservation Area (CA) of the former Seneca Army Depot. Captured within the fence line of the CA were several whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) of the normal brown coloration. Within a few years, however, something unique happened. White pigmented deer began populating the brown deer herd within the CA. The U. S. Army, sensing something unique was taking place, gave the white deer protection while they managed the brown deer through hunting. This was necessary to keep the population within the carrying capacity of the habitat of the CA.

How did the white deer coloration manifest itself within the CA?

It appears one or more of the brown whitetails originally confined with the CA, carried the recessive gene for white coloration. Over time and with protection from the military, this normally recessive gene continued to manifest itself. Today, the CA is home to the world’s largest and only herd of white deer, nearly 200 individuals strong. Such a density of white deer can be found no where else in the world!

White deer have brown eyes unlike albino deer that are pink eyed. It is also not uncommon to see brown does with white fawns or white does with brown fawns. The color combinations of white and brown deer range from gray to brown as well as white spotting along with pure white.

How are they protected now?

To protect the entire deer herd, the maintenance of the 24 miles of fence must be maintained. Within the fenced area of the CA, the white and brown deer can be properly managed through hunting to keep the herd healthy. If the fence line degrades, and the deer escape, especially the white deer, they are heavily sought as trophies and will perish quickly.

How you can help protect them in the future?

With your help, this unique natural resource, the white deer of the former Seneca Army Depot, can be preserved for generations to enjoy and marvel. To help in this endeavor, check out on how you can assist

COPYRIGHT © 2002-2009 Seneca White Deer Inc.

Thanks to Seneca White Deer Inc. for posting this great information.

No comments: