GENUS CANIS FAMILY WITH VOCAL LANGUAGE AND TERRITORIAL APPROACH
Many people have difficulty to make a difference between jackal and coyote. I was one of them but then I put my interest in wildlife, to lead me into the research. It is a fact that those two species are pretty much close to each other and even share the similar behavioural psychology , but there are also many distinctive characteristics. One of the most important and starting point could be found in their different habitat and location. While jackals live mostly in Southeastern Europe, Asia and Africa, coyotes live in Americas and they are larger. Some scientists bring out the idea that the jackal is looking like some precious mix between fox and German shepherd dog. The small face, delicate legs, fluffy tail and German shepherd dogs ears. They look like domesticated fox but they indeed have many similarities with the family of wolves, foxes, coyotes and dogs. Nevertheless, they are absolutely authentic and one of a kind due to the studies that confirm their specific vocal language, hunting in pairs and social behaviour.
Jackals are known to be monogamous like wolves. This means that they find and have a mate for a whole life. After the gestation period of 2 months, there are usually 2 to 4 pumps that are hidden in underground dens. Those shelters are known from wolf world since they have such a type of community dens or wolf kindergartens. In spite of wolves that are safe in their homes, the jackal mom is not so safe and change the locations with its pups, every 2 weeks, to avoid tracking from natural predators. Those young jackals will be fed and nurtured by 2 months, when they get into 3rd month, they go exploring the surrounding, with their parents. By 6 months, they are hunting alone but still close to the parents that do take care of their almost grown up kids. It is noted that some jackals teenagers even stay with their parents and help them in taking care of new siblings while parents hunt. It is a great family logic and support system that those animals have developed
The jackals are usually 40 cm high and up to 12 kilograms and can live from 8 to 15 years, even longer in captivity. For them is important to mention that they are good runners, up to 40 km/h. This should enable them great possibility to hunt and to reach the prey what is usually watched and hunted by couple of jackals. They are considered to be excellent hunters and extraordinary intelligent mammals. Their advantage is in cooperative work for the food target. In other words, they have strategy in hunting policy. They cant attack the big prey but they indeed will have an interest in newborn gazelle or wildebeest. The one jackal will distract the mother and the another will grab the baby and be the breadwinner for that day. If all is really bad, they will follow the lions pride and hope there are some leftovers from the big cats. It is funny but lions are not bothered by jackals and they are even tolerated on the food table, if the majestic cats are not anymore hungry. They are not killing them while hyenas and leopards are killing jackals every time they have a chance. When jackals have more food than they need they will storage it like dogs, for later. Through their special howling, they communicate and inform each others where is a prey and how close or far could be a danger. The way of synchronised howling between the couple is also something that is turning the relationship between jackals into the never ending love story.
When we look into the human mythology and religious heritage, we will note that jackals have a special place into the legends and religious. It is enough to open the Holy Bible and find that the golden jackal is mentioned approximately 14 times with the purpose to illustrate desolation, loneliness and abandonment. Go to the ancient Egypt and find that the God of death, Anubis, was a man with a jackal´s head. Anubis was the one who guided the dead to the final judgers of the souls. West Africa and Serer religion believe that jackal was one of the first created animals by Roog, the God. They are usually presented as tricky and cowards in spite of glorious lion position in the folklore. Those animals are simply adaptable survivors
According to the studies of zoology, there are 3 main types of jackals: “One of these breeds is the black-backed jackal (Lupulella mesomelas), whose habitat ranges between Sudan and Tanzania in eastern Africa and also between Angola and South Africa. Another is the side-striped jackal (Lupulella adusta), located between Senegal in western Africa and South Africa. And lastly, we have the golden jackal (Canis aureus), which can be found widely across Asia and Europe. The African golden wolf (Canis anthus) was also considered to be a part of the golden jackal family, until a 2015 study found that they were a separate species.”
So, we can define them as Golden Jackals, Asiatic Jackals and Oriental Jackals and they are all omnivorous scavengers, diurnal and nocturnal active. They can eat meat, plants and the leftover. They are hunters but also the ecosystem cleaners.
How dangerous is a jackal ? Try to imagine that every dog is protecting its territory and home. If you come out uninvited, you may be attacked by dog protector. The jackals in the African savannah and woodlands are also pretty much teritorial and maybe they cant kill you but they can harm you. Be aware to not cross the borders between the pure wildlife and the admiration for this wildlife. Those animals arent really endangered in conservation way but there are still conflicts with humans and the los of habitat which may cause that those canines come always closer to the population and endanger the domestic animals, searching for food.
Personally, I believe that this beautiful Planet is a home for all and there is a place for all species if they have metal respect. Humans have a lot to learn and to improve their way of protections of other creatures because long time ago, we have been given ability to understand and to be compassionate. We need to rewake this skill.
One thought on “THE JACKAL: SOMEWHERE BETWEEN FOX AND DOG”
Sarah’s informative and elucidating article reminded me of when The Iron Curtain was removed from Eastern Europe, in the early-1990s…
For most of the 20th century, European wildlife was separated by walls, fences, etc., constructed by Cold War belligerents, and so when the barriers were removed after the collapse of the former Soviet Union (early-1990s), it took the regional wildlife (e.g. deer) about a decade to feel safe enough to begin crossing the areas freed from those previous barriers.
For example, the first golden jackals in The Czech Republic (still called ‘Czechoslovakia’ then) were observed in the late-1990s; migrating from Austrian forests.
The golden jackal was widespread in Eastern Europe before The Cold War; almost 2 million years of jackal species spreading across Eurasia. Today, they are surviving across Europe, despite the encroaches by humans on natural habitats…