Black-backed jackal

The black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) is a canid native to two areas of Africa, separated by roughly 900 km.

One region includes the southernmost tip of the continent, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The other area is along the eastern coastline, including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. It is listed by the IUCN as least concern, due to its widespread range and adaptability, although it is still persecuted as a livestock predator and rabies vector.[1]

Compared to other members of the genus Canis, the black-backed jackal is a very ancient species, and has changed little since the Pleistocene,[2] being the most basal wolf-like canine, alongside the closely related side-striped jackal.[3] It is a fox-like animal[4] with a reddish coat and a black saddle that extends from the shoulders to the base of the tail.[5] It is a monogamous animal, whose young may remain with the family to help raise new generations of pups.[6] The black-backed jackal is not a fussy eater, and feeds on small to medium-sized animals, as well as plant matter and human refuse.[7]

Black-backed jackal
Temporal range: Pliocene - recent
Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas mesomelas) 2
C. m. mesomelas
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species:
C. mesomelas
Binomial name
Canis mesomelas
Schreber, 1775
Subspecies

2 ssp., see text

Canis mesomelas subspecies range
Black-backed jackal range, with C. m. mesomelas in blue and C. m. schmidti in red

Etymology

The species is known by several different names, including saddle-backed, grey, silver-backed, red, and golden jackal (not to be confused with Canis aureus). The Latin mesomelas is a compound consisting of meso (middle) and melas (black).[5]

Local and indigenous names

Taxonomy and evolution

Phylogenetic tree of the extant wolf-like canids
Caninae 3.5 Ma
3.0
2.7
1.9
1.6
1.3
1.1

Dog Tibetan mastiff (white background).jpg

Gray wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate I).jpg

Himalayan wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate III).jpg

Coyote Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate IX).jpg

African golden wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XI).jpg

Ethiopian wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate VI).jpg

Golden jackal Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate X).jpg

Dhole Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XLI).jpg

African wild dog Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XLIV).jpg

2.6

Side-striped jackal Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XIII).jpg

Black-backed jackal Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XII).jpg

Phylogenetic relationships between the extant wolf-like clade of canids based on nuclear DNA sequence data taken from the cell nucleus,[3][8] except for the Himalayan wolf, based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.[8][9] Timing of divergence in millions of years.[8]

The black-backed jackal has occupied eastern and southern Africa for at least 2-3 million years, as shown by fossil deposits in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. Specimens from fossil sites in Transvaal are almost identical to their modern counterparts, but have slightly different nasal bones.[5] As no fossils have been found north of Ethiopia, the species likely has always been sub-Saharan in distribution.[7] The black-backed jackal is relatively unspecialised, and can thrive in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, as its kidneys are well adapted for water deprivation. It is, however, more adapted to a carnivorous diet than the other jackals, as shown by its well-developed carnassial shear and the longer cutting blade of the premolars.[4]

Juliet Clutton-Brock classed the black-backed jackal as being closely related to the side-striped jackal, based on cranial and dental characters.[10] Studies on allozyme divergence within the Canidae indicate that the black-backed jackal and other members of the genus Canis are separated by a considerable degree of genetic distance.[11] Further studies show a large difference in mitochondrial DNA sequences between black-backed jackals and other sympatric "jackal" species, consistent with divergence 2.3–4.5 million years ago.[12]

A mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) sequence alignment for the wolf-like canids gave a phylogenetic tree with the side-striped jackal and the black-backed jackal being the most basal members of this clade, which means that this tree is indicating an African origin for the clade.[3][13]

Because of this deep divergence between the black-backed jackal and the rest of the "wolf-like" canids, one author has proposed to change the species' generic name from Canis to Lupulella.[14]

In 2017, jackal relationships were further explored, with an mDNA study finding that the two black-backed jackal subspecies had diverged from each other 1.4 million years ago to form the central African and east African populations. The study proposes that due to this long separation, which is longer than the separation of the African golden wolf from the wolf lineage, that the two subspecies might warrant separate species status.[15]

See further:Canis evolution

Subspecies

Two subspecies are recognised by MSW3[16] (2005). These subspecies are geographically separated by a gap which extends northwards from Zambia to Tanzania:[5]

Subspecies Image Trinomial authority Description Range Synonyms
Cape jackal
C. m. mesomelas
nominate subspecies
Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas mesomelas) Schreber, 1775 See Physical description below. Cape of Good Hope northward to Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique. achrotes (Thomas, 1925)
arenarum (Thomas, 1926)
variegatoides (A. Smith, 1833)
East African jackal
C. m. schmidti
Black Backed Jackal Masaai Mara April 2008 Noack, 1897 Distinguished from the nominate subspecies by its shorter and wider skull, longer and narrower carnassials, and smaller upper and lower molar grinding areas. Southern Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and northern Tanzania. elgonae (Heller, 1914)
mcmillani (Heller, 1914)

Description

Canis mesomelas & Canis lupus skulls
Comparison between the skulls of the basal black-backed jackal (left) and advanced grey wolf

The black-backed jackal is a fox-like canid[4] with a slender body, long legs, and large ears.[5] It is similar to the closely related side-striped jackal and more distantly related to the golden jackal, though its skull and dentition are more robust and the incisors much sharper.[4] It weighs 6–13 kg (13–29 lb),[4] stands 38–48 cm (15–19 in) at the shoulder, and measures 67.3–81.2 cm (26.5–32.0 in) in body length.[5]

The base colour is reddish brown to tan, which is particularly pronounced on the flanks and legs. A black saddle intermixed with silvery hair extends from the shoulders to the base of the tail.[5] A long, black stripe extending along the flanks separates the saddle from the rest of the body, and can be used to differentiate individuals.[4] The tail is bushy and tipped with black. The lips, throat, chest, and inner surface of the limbs are white.[5] The winter coat is a much deeper reddish brown.[4] Albino specimens occasionally occur.[4] The hair of the face measures 10–15 mm in length, and lengthens to 30–40 mm on the rump. The guard hairs of the back are 60 mm on the shoulder, decreasing to 40 mm at the base of the tail. The hairs of the tail are the longest, measuring 70 mm in length.[7]

Behaviour

Black-backed Jackal skeleton
Black-backed jackal skeleton (Museum of Osteology)

Social and territorial behaviours

The black-backed jackal is a monogamous and territorial animal, whose social organisation greatly resembles that of the golden jackal. However, the assistance of elder offspring in helping raise the pups of their parents has a greater bearing on pup survival rates than in the latter species.[6] The basic social unit is a monogamous mated pair which defends its territory through laying faeces and urine on range boundaries. Scent marking is usually done in tandem, and the pair aggressively expels intruders. Such encounters are normally prevented, as the pair vocalises to advertise its presence in a given area. It is a highly vocal species, particularly in Southern Africa.[4] Sounds made by the species include yelling, yelping, woofing, whining, growling, and cackling.[6] It communicates with group members and advertises its presence by a high-pitched, whining howl, and expresses alarm through an explosive cry followed by shorter, high-pitched yelps. This sound is particularly frantic when mobbing a leopard. In areas where the black-backed jackal is sympatric with the African golden wolf, the species does not howl, instead relying more on yelps. In contrast, black-backed jackals in Southern Africa howl much like golden jackals.[4] When trapped, it cackles like a fox.[6]

Reproduction and development

Black-backed Jackal Canis mesomelas in Tanzania 3514 Nevit
East African jackal (C. m. schmidti) pups, Tanzania

The mating season takes place from late May to August, with a gestation period of 60 days. Pups are born from July to October. Summer births are thought to be timed to coincide with population peaks of vlei rats and four-striped grass mice, while winter births are timed for ungulate calving seasons.[7] Litters consist of one to 9 pups, which are born blind. For the first three weeks of their lives, the pups are kept under constant surveillance by their dam, while the sire and elder offspring provide food.[6] The pups open their eyes after 8–10 days and emerge from the den at the age of 3 weeks. They are weaned at 8–9 weeks, and can hunt by themselves at the age of 6 months. Sexual maturity is attained at 11 months, though few black-backed jackals reproduce in their first year.[4] Unlike golden jackals, which have comparatively amicable intrapack relationships, black-backed jackal pups become increasingly quarrelsome as they age, and establish more rigid dominance hierarchies. Dominant pups appropriate food, and become independent at an earlier age.[6] The grown pups may disperse at one year of age, though some remain in their natal territories to assist their parents in raising the next generation of pups. The average lifespan in the wild is 7 years, though captive specimens can live twice as long.[4]

Ecology

Habitat

The species generally shows a preference for open areas with little dense vegetation, though it occupies a wide range of habitats, from arid coastal deserts to areas with more than 2000 mm of rainfall. It also occurs in farmlands, savannas, open savanna mosaics, and alpine areas.[4]

Diet

An unwanted visitor (cropped)
Cape jackal (C. m. mesomelas) feeding on a brown fur seal pup, Namibia
2012-bb-jackal-1
Cape jackal (C. m. mesomelas) feeding on a springbok carcass in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Black-backed jackals are omnivores, which feed on invertebrates, such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, termites, millipedes, spiders, and scorpions. They also feed on mammals, such as rodents, hares, and young antelopes up to the size of topi calves. They also feed on carrion, lizards, and snakes.[5] A pair of black-backed jackals in the Kalahari desert was observed to kill a kori bustard, and on a separate occasion, a black mamba by prolonged harassment of the snake and crushing of the snake's head.[17] Black-backed jackals occasionally feed on fruits and berries.[6] In coastal areas, they feed on beached marine mammals, seals, fish, and mussels.[7] A single jackal is capable of killing a healthy adult impala.[18] Adult dik-diks and Thomson's gazelles seem to be the upper limit of their killing capacity, though they target larger species if those are sick, with one pair having been observed to harass a crippled bull rhinoceros. They typically kill tall prey by biting at the legs and loins, and frequently go for the throat.[4] In Serengeti woodlands, they feed heavily on African grass rats. In East Africa, during the dry season, they hunt the young of gazelles, impalas, topi, tsessebe, and warthogs.[6] In South Africa, black-backed jackals frequently prey on antelopes (primarily impala and springbok and occasionally duiker, reedbuck, and steenbok), carrion, hares, hoofed livestock, insects, and rodents. They also prey on small carnivores, such as mongooses, polecats, and wildcats. On the coastline of the Namib Desert, jackals feed primarily on marine birds (mainly Cape and white-breasted cormorants and jackass penguins), marine mammals (including Cape fur seals[19]), fish, and insects.[5] Like most canids, the black-backed jackal caches surplus food.[6]

Enemies and competitors

In areas where the black-backed jackal is sympatric with the larger side-striped jackal, the former species aggressively drives out the latter from grassland habitats into woodlands. This is unique among carnivores, as larger species commonly displace smaller ones.[20] Black-backed jackal pups are vulnerable to African golden wolves,[7] ratels, and spotted and brown hyenas. Adults have few natural predators, save for leopards and African wild dogs.[4]

Diseases and parasites

Black-backed jackals can carry diseases such as rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine adenovirus, Ehrlichia canis, and African horse sickness. Jackals in Etosha National Park may carry anthrax. Black-backed jackals are major rabies vectors, and have been associated with epidemics, which appear to cycle every 4–8 years. Jackals in Zimbabwe are able to maintain rabies independently of other species. Although oral vaccinations are effective in jackals, the long-term control of rabies continues to be a problem in areas where stray dogs are not given the same immunisation.[5]

Jackals may also carry trematodes such as Athesmia, cestodes such as Dipylidium caninum, Echinococcus granulosus, Joyeuxialla echinorhyncoides, J. pasqualei, Mesocestoides lineatus, Taenia erythraea, T. hydatigena, T. jackhalsi, T. multiceps, T. pungutchui, and T. serialis. Nematodes carried by black-backed jackals include Ancylostoma braziliense, A. caninum, A. martinaglia, A. somaliense, A. tubaeforme, and Physaloptera praeputialis, and protozoans such as Babesia canis, Ehrlichia canis, Hepatozoon canis, Rickettsia canis, Sarcocytis spp., Toxoplasma gondii, and Trypanosoma congolense. Mites may cause sarcoptic mange. Tick species include Amblyomma hebraeum, A. marmoreum, A. nymphs, A. variegatum, Boophilus decoloratus, Haemaphysalis leachii, H. silacea, H. spinulosa, Hyelomma spp., Ixodes pilosus, I. rubicundus, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, R. evertsi, R. sanguineus, and R. simus. Flea species include Ctenocephalides cornatus, Echidnophaga gallinacea, and Synosternus caffer.[5]

Relationships with humans

In folklore

Black-backed jackals feature prominently in the folklore of the Khoikhoi, where it is often paired with the lion, whom it frequently outsmarts or betrays with its superior intelligence. One story explains that the black-backed jackal gained its dark saddle when it offered to carry the Sun on its back.[21] An alternative account comes from the ǃKung people, whose folklore tells that the jackal received the burn on its back as a punishment for its scavenging habits.[22] According to an ancient Ethiopian folktale, jackals and man first became enemies shortly before the Great Flood, when Noah initially refused to allow jackals into the ark, thinking they were unworthy of being saved, until being commanded by God to do so.[23]

Livestock predation

Black-backed jackals occasionally hunt domestic animals, including dogs, cats, pigs, goats, sheep, and poultry, with sheep tending to predominate. They rarely target cattle, though cows giving birth may be attacked. Jackals can be a serious problem for sheep farmers, particularly during the lambing season. Sheep losses to black-backed jackals in a 440 km2 study area in KwaZulu-Natal consisted of 0.05% of the sheep population. Of 395 sheep killed in a sheep farming area in KwaZulu-Natal, 13% were killed by jackals. Jackals usually kill sheep with a throat bite, and begin feeding by opening the flank and consuming the flesh and skin of the flank, heart, liver, some ribs, haunch of hind leg, and sometimes the stomach and its contents. In older lambs, the main portions eaten are usually heart and liver. Usually, only one lamb per night is killed in any one place, but sometimes two and occasionally three may be killed.[5] The oral history of the Khoikhoi indicates they have been a nuisance to pastoralists long before European settlement. South Africa has been using fencing systems to protect sheep from jackals since the 1890s, though such measures have mixed success, as the best fencing is expensive, and jackals can easily infiltrate cheap wire fences.[24]

Hunting

Canis mesomelas fur skin
Black-backed jackal pelt

Due to livestock losses to jackals, many hunting clubs were opened in South Africa in the 1850s. Black-backed jackals have never been successfully eradicated in hunting areas, despite strenuous attempts to do so with dogs, poison, and gas.[7] Black-backed jackal coursing was first introduced to the Cape Colony in the 1820s by Lord Charles Somerset, who as an avid fox hunter, sought a more effective method of managing jackal populations, as shooting proved ineffective.[24] Coursing jackals also became a popular pastime in the Boer Republics.[25] In the western Cape in the early 1900s, dogs bred by crossing foxhounds, lurchers, and borzoi were used.[24]

Spring traps with metal jaws were also effective, though poisoning by strychnine became more common by the late 19th century. Strychnine poisoning was initially problematic, as the solution had a bitter taste, and could only work if swallowed. Consequently, many jackals learned to regurgitate poisoned baits, thus inciting wildlife managers to use the less detectable crystal strychnine rather than liquid. The poison was usually placed within sheep carcasses or in balls of fat, with great care being taken to avoid leaving any human scent on them. Black-backed jackals were not a popular quarry in the 19th century, and are rarely mentioned in hunter's literature. By the turn of the century, jackals became increasingly popular quarry as they encroached upon human habitations after sheep farming and veld burning diminished their natural food sources. Although poisoning had been effective in the late 19th century, its success rate in eliminating jackals waned in the 20th century, as jackals seemed to be learning to distinguish poisoned foods.[24]

The Tswana people often made hats and cloaks out of black-backed jackal skins. Between 1914 and 1917, 282,134 jackal pelts (nearly 50,000 a year) were produced in South Africa. Demand for pelts grew during the First World War, and were primarily sold in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Jackals in their winter fur were in great demand, though animals killed by poison were less valued, as their fur would shed.[24]

References

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  9. ^ Werhahn, Geraldine; Senn, Helen; Kaden, Jennifer; Joshi, Jyoti; Bhattarai, Susmita; Kusi, Naresh; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; MacDonald, David W. (2017). "Phylogenetic evidence for the ancient Himalayan wolf: Towards a clarification of its taxonomic status based on genetic sampling from western Nepal". Royal Society Open Science. 4 (6): 170186. Bibcode:2017RSOS....470186W. doi:10.1098/rsos.170186. PMC 5493914. PMID 28680672.
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  13. ^ Juliane Kaminski & Sarah Marshall-Pescini (2014). "Chapter 1 - The Social Dog:History and Evolution". The Social Dog:Behavior and Cognition. Elsevier. p. 4. ISBN 9780124079311.
  14. ^ Dinets, V (2015). "The Canis tangle: a systematics overview and taxonomic recommendations. Vavilovskii Zhurnal Genetiki i Selektsii –". Vavilov Journal of Genetics and Breeding. 19 (3): 286–291. doi:10.18699/vj15.036.
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External links

Borakalalo Game Reserve

The Borakalalo Game Reserve is a protected area in North West Province, South Africa. It is located about 80 kilometres NNW of Pretoria and 60 km north of Brits. This majestic Nature reserve has unfortunately been hampered by numerous safety problems, especially affecting overnight visitors to the reserve. Also known as a fantastic birding destination with specials including African Finfoot, Meyer's Parrot and Grey-Headed Kingfisher.

Canid hybrid

Canid hybrids are the result of interbreeding between different species of the canine (dog) family (genus Canis). They often occur in the wild, in particular between domestic or feral dogs and wild native canids.

Canidae

The biological family Canidae

(from Latin, canis, “dog”) is a lineage of carnivorans that includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dingoes, and many other extant and extinct dog-like mammals. A member of this family is called a canid (, ).The cat-like feliforms and dog-like caniforms emerged within the Carnivoramorpha 43 million years before present. The caniforms included the fox-like genus Leptocyon whose various species existed from 34 million years ago (Mya) before branching 11.9 Mya into Vulpini (foxes) and Canini (canines).Canids are found on all continents except Antarctica, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size from the 2-m-long (6 ft 7 in) gray wolf to the 24-cm-long (9.4 in) fennec fox. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. They are mostly social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving co-operatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young is reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. They are very intelligent. One canid, the domestic dog, long ago entered into a partnership with humans and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.

Canis

Canis is a genus of the Canidae containing multiple extant species, such as wolves, coyotes, jackals, dingoes, and dogs. Species of this genus are distinguished by their moderate to large size, their massive, well-developed skulls and dentition, long legs, and comparatively short ears and tails.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 square kilometres (20,400 sq mi) (larger than the Netherlands, and almost 10% of Botswana's total land area), making it the second largest game reserve in the world.The park contains wildlife such as South African giraffe, bush elephant, white rhino, cape buffalo, spotted hyena, brown hyena, honey badger, meerkat, yellow mongoose, warthog, South African cheetah, caracal, Cape wild dog, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, common eland, sable antelope, gemsbok, springbok, steenbok, impala, greater kudu, aardvark, cape ground squirrel, cape hare, cape porcupine, chacma baboon, red hartebeest and ostrich.

The land is mostly flat, and gently undulating covered with bush and grasses covering the sand dunes, and areas of larger trees. Many of the river valleys are fossilized with salt pans. Four fossilized rivers meander through the reserve including Deception Valley which began to form around 16,000 years ago.The Bushmen, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990s the Botswana government has tried to relocate the Bushmen from the reserve, claiming they were a drain on financial resources despite revenues from tourism. In 1997, three quarters of the entire San population were relocated from the reserve, and in October 2005 the government had resumed the forced relocation into resettlement camps outside of the park leaving only about 250 permanent occupiers. In 2006 a Botswana court proclaimed the eviction illegal and affirmed the Bushmen's right to return to living in the reserve. However, as of 2015 most Bushmen are blocked from access to their traditional lands in the reserve. A nationwide ban on hunting made it illegal for the Bushmen to practice their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle, despite allowing private game ranches to provide hunting opportunities for tourists.In 2014 a diamond mine operated by Gem Diamonds opened in the southeast portion of the reserve. The company estimated that the mine could yield $4.9 billion worth of diamonds. The Rapaport Diamond Report, a diamond-industry pricing guide, stated, "Ghaghoo's launch was not without controversy [...] given its location on the ancestral land of the Bushmen".A huge bush fire in and around the park in the middle of September 2008 burnt around 80 percent of the reserve. The origin of the fire remains unknown.

Golden jackal

The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a wolf-like canid that is native to Southeast Europe, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and regions of Southeast Asia. Compared with the Arabian wolf, which is the smallest of the gray wolves (Canis lupus), the jackal is smaller and possesses shorter legs, a shorter tail, a more elongated torso, a less-prominent forehead, and a narrower and more pointed muzzle. The golden jackal's coat can vary in color from a pale creamy yellow in summer to a dark tawny beige in winter. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its widespread distribution and high density in areas with plenty of available food and optimum shelter.

The ancestor of the golden jackal is believed to be the extinct Arno river dog that lived in Mediterranean Europe 1.9 million years ago. It is described as having been a small, jackal-like canine. Genetic studies indicate that the golden jackal expanded from India around 20,000 years ago towards the end of the last ice age. The oldest golden jackal fossil, found at the Ksar Akil rock shelter near Beirut, Lebanon, is 20,000 years old. The oldest golden jackal fossils in Europe were found in Greece and are 7,000 years old. There are seven subspecies of the golden jackal. The golden jackal is more closely related to the gray wolf, coyote, African golden wolf, and Ethiopian wolf than it is to the African black-backed jackal or side-striped jackal. It is capable of producing fertile hybrids with both the gray wolf and the African golden wolf. Jackal–dog hybrids called Sulimov dogs are in service at the Sheremetyevo Airport near Moscow where they are deployed by the Russian airline Aeroflot for scent-detection.

Golden jackals are abundant in valleys and beside rivers and their tributaries, canals, lakes, and seashores. They are rare in foothills and low mountains. The golden jackal is a social species, the basic social unit of which consists of a breeding pair and any young offspring. It is very adaptable, with the ability to exploit food ranging from fruit and insects to small ungulates. They will attack domestic fowl and domestic mammals up to the size of domestic water buffalo calves. The jackal's competitors are the red fox, wolf, jungle cat, forest wildcat, and, in the Caucasus, the raccoon, and, in Central Asia, the steppe wildcat. The jackal is expanding beyond its native grounds in Southeast Europe into Central Europe, occupying areas where there are few or no wolves.

Hans Merensky Wilderness

Hans Merensky Wilderness, also known as the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve, is a protected area in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It has an area of about 5 268 ha, and lies in the Lowveld between the Kruger Park and the town of Tzaneen. It is located on the banks of the Great Letaba River, a tributary of the Olifants River.

The Reserve is named after Hans Merensky, a South African geologist and conservationist. There is an ethnographic museum, the Tsonga Kraal Museum, displaying the culture of the Tsonga people.

Jackal

Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, which also includes wolves, coyotes and the domestic dog. While the word "jackal" has historically been used for many small canids, in modern use it most commonly refers to three species: the closely related black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of south-central Eurasia, which is more closely related to other members of the genus Canis.

Jackals and coyotes (sometimes called the "American jackal") are opportunistic omnivores, predators of small to medium-sized animals and proficient scavengers. Their long legs and curved canine teeth are adapted for hunting small mammals, birds, and reptiles, and their large feet and fused leg bones give them a physique well-suited for long-distance running, capable of maintaining speeds of 16 km/h (9.9 mph) for extended periods of time. Jackals are crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk.

Their most common social unit is a monogamous pair, which defends its territory from other pairs by vigorously chasing intruding rivals and marking landmarks around the territory with their urine and feces. The territory may be large enough to hold some young adults, which stay with their parents until they establish their own territories. Jackals may occasionally assemble in small packs, for example, to scavenge a carcass, but they normally hunt either alone or in pairs.

Jackal coursing

Jackal coursing involves the pursuit of jackals (usually the golden jackal and black-backed jackal) with dogs.

Jackal coursing was an occasional pastime for sportsmen in British India. English Foxhounds were usually imported to India for the purpose. Due to the comparatively hotter weather, jackal hounds were rarely long lived. Indian jackals were not hunted often in this manner, as they were slower than foxes and could scarcely outrun greyhounds after 200 yards. According to Thomas C. Jerdon, although jackals are easily pulled down by greyhounds and give an excellent run with foxhounds, they are nonetheless cunning animals which will sham death when caught, and will ferociously protect their packmates.Salukis were a popular choice of breed for jackal coursing in the Māzandarān Province; Rudyard Kipling wrote of a Persian proverb in his novel Kim which states "The jackal that lives in the wilds of Mazandaran can only be caught by the hounds of Mazandaran." British sportsmen pursued jackals in Ceylon as well, though hounds would not attack jackals. Reginald Innes Pocock speculated that this was due to Ceylonese dogs being closely related to the local jackals, and would thus not attack their own kind.In South Africa, black-backed jackal coursing was first introduced to the Cape Colony in the 1820s by Lord Charles Somerset who, as well as an avid fox hunter, sought a more effective method of managing jackal populations, as shooting proved ineffective. Coursing jackals also became a popular pastime in the Boer Republics, particularly in Orange Free State, where it was standard practise to flush them from their dens with terriers and send greyhounds in pursuit. This was fraught with difficulty however, as jackals were difficult to force out of their earths, and usually had numerous exits to escape from. This method is still used by farmers in Free State. In the western Cape in the early 1900s, dogs bred by crossing foxhounds, lurchers and borzoi were used.

Lion Park

Lion & Safari Park was originally a 600 hectare (ca. 1,500 acre) wildlife conservation enclosure for lions in the Gauteng province in South Africa. In 2016, the park relocated to new premises of the same size in the Cradle of Humankind in the North West province. The park is situated north of Lanseria Airport within driving distance of Johannesburg and Pretoria. It has a large variety of predators and large herbivores indigenous to Africa.

The Lion & Safari Park is home to over 80 lions including the rare white lions and many other carnivores such as South African cheetah, Cape wild dog, hyena and spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, and a wide variety of antelope which roam freely in the antelope area.

The antelope area, containing blesbok, gnu, impala, gemsbok, and zebra, is in a separate part away from the lions and other carnivores.

In addition to the animal enclosures the new park has a children's play area, restaurants, conference facilities and a retail centre within five small domes. Guests are also able to hand-feed giraffes, ostriches and antelope.

List of fauna of Sudan and South Sudan

Fauna of Sudan and South Sudan include:

Aardvark

Aardwolf

African buffalo

African bush elephant

African civet

African golden wolf

African leopard

Ball Python

Banded mongoose

Lion

Barbary sheep

Black-backed jackal

Blue duiker

Bohor reedbuck

Bongo

Bushbuck

Cape hyrax

Common duiker

Common genet

Congo lion

Dama gazelle

Dorcas gazelle

Dugong

Gemsbok

Giant eland

Giant forest hog

Grant's gazelle

Grant's zebra

Greater kudu

Grevy's zebra

Hartebeest

Hippopotamus

Klipspringer

Kob

Maneless zebra

Marsh mongoose

Nile lechwe

North African ostrich

Northern white rhinoceros

Nubian giraffe

Nubian wild ass

Okapi

Oribi

Pale fox

Plains zebra

Red fox

Red river hog

Roan antelope

Rothschild's giraffe

Rueppell's fox

Side-striped jackal

Sitatunga

Somali wild ass

Somali wild dog

Spotted hyena

Striped hyena

Sudan cheetah

Temminck's pangolin

Thomson's gazelle

Warthog

Waterbuck

Yellow-backed duiker

List of fictional canines in animation

This is a list of fictional canines in animation, and is subsidiary to the List of fictional canines. It is a collection of various notable non-dog canine characters. Dogs can be found under animation in the list of fictional dogs. Wolves can be found under animation in the list of fictional wolves.

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mabula Game Reserve

Mabula Game Reserve is a private game reserve situated in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is about 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) in area and is about 47 km from Bela Bela (Warmbaths). The current owner of Mabula Game Reserve is the Indian businessman baron Vijay Mallya.

Mpofu Nature Reserve

Mpofu Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in the Amatole district of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa that is managed by Eastern Cape Parks.

Mpofu is situated roughly 25 km (16 miles) northwest of Fort Beaufort and 20 km (12 miles) west of Balfour. It lies on the escarpment and lower valleys of the Katberg Mountains and covers 7,500 ha (19,000 acres) with altitudes varying from 550 to 1,384 metres (1,804 to 4,541 ft). The reserve was established in 1985 from land purchased from families who were descended from the 1820 settlers.

Red Jackal (disambiguation)

Red Jackal may refer to:

Red Jackal, a comic book character

Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis)

Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)

Side-striped jackal

The side-striped jackal (Canis adustus) is a species of jackal, native to east and southern Africa. Unlike its cousin, the smaller black-backed jackal, which dwells in open plains, the side-striped jackal primarily dwells in woodland and scrub areas.

Tawny eagle

The tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the migratory steppe eagle, Aquila nipalensis, and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific. They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy; two molecular studies, each based on a very small number of genes, indicate that the species are distinct, but disagree over how closely related they are.It breeds in most of Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across tropical southwestern Asia to India. It is a resident breeder which lays one to three eggs in a stick nest in a tree or crag or on the ground.

Throughout its range, it favours open dry habitats such as desert, semidesert, steppes, or savannah plains.

Indigenous names for Canis mesomelas[5][7]
Linguistic group or area Indigenous name
ǀXam g!ui-ten
!Xóõ !ào-sè
Afrikaans rooijakkals
Amharic ቲኩር ጀርባ ቀበሮ (tikur-jerba kebero)
Ateso ekwee
Herero ombánji
Karamojong kwee
kiGogo nhyewe
kiHehe nchewe
isiNdebele ikhanka
kiKinga ngewe
Kinyaturu mola
Sagara kewe
kiSwahili bweha nyakundu
bweha shaba
Taita muzozo
Nama girib
gireb
Sanye gedala
Shangaan impungutshe
Shona hungubwe
gava
Sotho phokobje
phokojoe
Siswati mpungutje
Tswana phokoje
Venda phungubwe
Zulu impungushe
ikhanka
Extant Carnivora species

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