The blonde hedgehogs of AlderneyAlderney's most famous wildlife is the very unusual ‘Blonde Hedgehogs' (They are actually leucistic). White hedgehogs are rare in Britain but on around 25% of the hedgehogs on Alderney are white.
There appears to be a dominant strain of leucistic hedgehogs on Alderney that produce an exceptionally high percentage of white animals. For some reason, the white hedgehogs don't carry fleas, and there are no natural predators on the island, so the population is unusually high for such a small area. And being a small island, the strong leucistic gene remains prevalent in the population.
There is a theory that one or more white hedgehogs were released here in the 1960s having been bought from Harrods!
The photo of the 'Blonde hedgehog' was taken by Elaine Fox-Packer; Wildlife Extra is very grateful for her permission to use it.
Leucism (or Leukism)
Leucism is a very unusual condition whereby the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly. This can result in unusual white patches appearing on the animal, or, more rarely, completely white creatures.
Click here to see our gallery of albino and leucistic animals and birds.
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