Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Gene frequencies in a population of feral cats in Portsmouth naval Dockyard

  • J. L. Dards
  • R. Robinson


The free-living or feral cats of Portsmouth Dockyard were examined for the frequency of six mutant colour and coat genes. With the exception of one mutant, they were found to differ from the values to be expected for Southern England cat populations. The differences observed may have resulted from selection in the isolated environment (to produce a unique gene profile in terms of frequencies) or from a founder effect. If the latter, the observed frequencies could represent a relict population reflecting the frequencies of the town of Portsmouth before the dockyard was totally enclosed by a high wall. Some evidence of selection related to coat colour was found.

Key words

Population genetics Cat ecology Cat mutants Feral cats Ecological genetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Dards
    • 1
  • R. Robinson
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Studies in Environmental ScienceUniversity of BradfordBradfordEngland
  2. 2.St. Stephens Road NurseryEaling, LondonEngland

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