Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Genetic structure of the feral cat on a sub-Antarctic island

Pontier, D., Say, L., Devillard, S., & Bonhomme, F. (2005). Genetic structure of the feral cat (Felis catus L.) introduced 50 years ago to a sub-Antarctic island. Polar Biology, 28(4), 268-275.

Information about the invasion dynamics and demographic status of invasive species is essential to choose the optimal control options of population numbers. While long-term direct demographic and historical records are generally lacking, the analysis of the genetic variability of a current population might supply information about past and current demographic processes. In this study, we analysed the genetic variability of the cat population living on the main island of the Kerguelen archipelago. Genetic diversity was consistent with the introduction of a very small number of individuals followed by a demographic explosion of the cat population. Significant genetic structure among sites (Fst=0.06 ±0.005) and absence of isolation by distance could indicate that the initial phase of fast colonisation is now over. Estimates of individual relatedness indicated a significant kin structure. Overall data suggested that the cat population of the main island has probably reached carrying capacity.

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