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Long-term monitoring of golden jackals along the coastline of the southern Western Ghats, India, provi­ded interesting results. We observed various coat colour patterns such as leucism, melanism, semi-melanism and rusty coats among jackals resembling dogs. The melanistic variation and rust colour expression may be due to the acquired genetic properties during cross­breeding with the free-ranging dogs, as the associated mutations have been previously documented in dogs and not in jackals. Genetic studies can assist us in under­standing the causes and consequences of coat colour variation.


Coat colour variation, golden jackal, hybridization, isolated populations.
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