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Albino Squirrel.


Photo: Donita Clausen

It's hard to be an albino, especially if you're a squirrel:

The truth is, the squirrel is lucky to still be alive. Albino squirrels have a very short life expectancy because they are easily seen by both predators and prey due to their obvious lack of camouflage.

Arkansas City Traveler has got the scoop: http://www.arkcity.net/stories/071806/com_0001.shtml - via Arbroath

Update 7/21/06: Akiro wrote: Noticed the white squirrel link so I figured the "Home of the White Squirrel" Olney, Illinois may interest you. Olney protects its white furry friends and as a result the recessive trait of being albino has become displayed in a large portion of their squirrels.


This is so odd that you post this because I just came across an albino squirrel myself in my neighborhood when I was out for a run. It surprised the heck out of me.
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Predators and prey? Even if the acorns and nuts see the squirrel, they don't have the means to get away from them in time.

Predators, yes. Prey, not so much.
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Yeah, the "prey" comment got my attention too. I have a photo somewhere in my slide collection of an albino squirrel in a Salt Lake City park. Maybe urban albino squirrels don't have to worry so much about predators - any more than white cats and small dogs.
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In Brevard, NC, there's a yearly white squirrel festival, and you can see the little buggers everywhere. Doesn't seem like their visibility is hurting them any...
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Olney, Illinois is "home of the white squirrel" and the white squirrels are actually protected to increase their numbers and cause the recessive trait to be displayed in the majority of the squirrel population.
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An argument as old as time........

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/set/squirrels.html

"Olney has overhyped themselves, according to a Marionville, Missouri, spokesperson, also publicized as Home of the White Squirrels. "They've got our backs up," Marionville told us, an opinion they've held ever since Olney appeared making preemptive superiority claims on the Today Show in 1965. Marionville believes the squirrels arrived in town "just after the Civil War" and that they escaped from a traveling circus. "The squirrels in Olney were kidnapped from Marionville," they explain."

"Marionville claims to possess the largest, oldest colony of white squirrels in the world, around 300 to 600 here since at least 1854. The local Lions Club actively encourages the squirrels, building little wooden dwellings and planting nut-bearing trees. Marionville even contains a White Squirrel Bed and Breakfast, where visiting humans can stay."
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My friend in Ashford, Connecticut has had a white squirrel living in her yard for two years now. She thinks it is the same one. How long do they live and what can you do to protect it.
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