Friday, September 25, 2015

Golden Jackal species has different legal status in Lithuania and Poland

The news that jackal hunting is open all year round is still active on the website of Lithuanian Ministry of Environment (Last accessed date 24.09.2015), even if colleagues of GOJAGE Lithuania announced that species do not have category of IAS. GOJAGE emitted a letter of complaint on this topic on 2nd of June 2015.

IAS project in Poland named golden jackal species as native!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New golden jackal possible record and BAM proposal in Czech Republic

by Ovidiu C. Banea & Jaroslav Červinka

Possible record of the golden jackal species in Czech Republic

On 25th of August 2015 a canid was photo-trapped by Ecol. Klára Pyšková  (here). 
But, first photography of a canid, looking like the golden jackal, was realized by photo-trapping on 28th of June 2015 by the same researcher, when she was studying the mesocarnivore species on natural areas of Elba River catchment. Taking together these data, it seems that this is the first official record of an alived jackal specimen in Czech Republic (GOJAGE C3 category, this report needs to be additionally documented and verified).

GOJAGE BAM Proposal in Czech Republic (2.10.2015)

Bartošovický luh, Poodří PLA is under Ramsar Convention, SPA and SCI under Natura 2000.

GOJAGE is planning now BAM in Bartošovický luh from Poodří Protected Landscape Area in Oder River floodplain, on the Eastern part of Czech Republic, in an opposite site of the recent observations made by Ecol. Klára Pyšková. Poodří PLA has been included as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and is also part of an important bird migration route through Central Europe. Under the Natura 2000 system, Poodří has been declared a Special Protection Area (Bird Area) to protect the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and the gadwall (Anas strepera). For the exceptional value of its natural localities, Poodří has also been included among the Sites of Community Importance under the Natura 2000 system.

Our hypothesis is that in the Eastern parts of Czech Republic, mostly the alluvial meadows of Oder River, jackal established already a reproductive population cluster suggesting that the above mentioned record is related to another dispersal route.
Next week a team of GOJAGE will perform BAM in surroundings of Bartošovický luh covering an area of 43sqkm. Jaroslav Červinka, RNDr, specialist in Vertebrate Ecology and habitat fragmentation and Environmental Ecologist Ovidiu C. Banea, MSc. will organize and participate to this brief survey.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

BAM proposal and golden jackal hunting law in Austria

by Jennifer Hatlauf and Ovidiu C. Banea


Potential ecological area of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Austria. Status, habitat factors and modeling approach is the name of the recent Master thesis presented in March 2015.

According to the suitable jackal habitat modelling approach based in GIS and CORINE 2006 instruments together with actual European concerns regarding jackal population ecology, dispersal patterns and golden jackal habitat ecological factors we propose a Bio-Acoustic Monitoring (BAM) survey in Austrian natural areas where jackal has been reported before (1989-2015).


Golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a Community Interest species ("Habitats Directive" 92/43/EEC) listed in Annex Va together with pine marten (Martes martes), European polecat (Mustela putorius) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) between other mammals. Monitoring of conservation status is an obligation arising from Article 11 of the Habitats Directive for all habitats (as listed in Annex I) and species (as listed in Annex II, IV and V) of Community interest. Consequently this provision is not restricted to Natura 2000 sites and data need to be collected both in and outside the Natura 2000 network to achieve a full appreciation of conservation status. The main results of this monitoring have to be reported to the Commission every six years according to Article 17 of the directive. 
Article 14 places a requirement for further surveillance of exploited species of flora and fauna listed in Annex V where necessary. After that management measures could be applied. In Austria as in many countries of Central and SE Europe monitoring of species is deficient and commonly done by inexpert people. When management measures are applied in case of Community Interest species a series of hunting methods should be avoided. These hunting methods which are prohibited are listed in the Annex VI of the "Habitats Directive" 92/43/EEC.

Golden jackal Hunting Law in Austria

We are now suggesting BAM survey in natural areas of Austria with known historical reports of the golden jackal species complementary to the census programs performed by the Game Species Management Authority and in close collaboration with hunters and Nature Conservation bodies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Guldsjakal fundet i Danmark

Golden jackal (Canis aureus L. 1758) in Denmark

A jackal was road killed between Karup and Frederiks localities in Central Jutlandia, Denmark. Mr Jan Falbe Hansen found the specimen and tried to identify species with Peder Didriksen, veterinarian. The genetic analysis was perfromed by geneticist DNA expert Mrs Liselotte Wesley Andersen and showed that tissue samples collected from the front paws belong to golden jackal species.

Foto: Max Steinar, Original news 10th of September 2015 (here)

Danish Hunters' Association announced the new record of jackal species on 10th of September 2015. 

Until present day no data is available about jackal reproductive groups in Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia or Belarus even if recently isolated sightings were reported. The closest jackal reproductive population cluster to Denmark was reported in West Estonia (Matsalu National Park) in 2013.
Known range of the golden jackal species encompasses territories from NE Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Southern Romania, SW Ukraine, Caucasus.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Golden Jackal is not an IAS in Lithuania

by Jos Stratford

The article on Golden Jackal in Lithuania is now published in Zoology and Ecology- it was not written with the view to publication, but with the express purpose of informing the Lithuanian Ministry of the Environment (and was successful as they dropped the proposal to list as invasive). Nevertheless, was also accepted for publication.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

BAM proposals in Danube Delta Biopshere Reserve (Romania) and Keoladeo National Park (India)

1) BAM proposal in Keoladeo National Park, India

Mrs. Aakriti Singh is working in Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, India as Masters dissertation student under supervision of Dr. H.N. Kumara. She intends to work on ecology of Golden Jackals in Keoladeo National Park, India and was interested in jackal density at individual level (from reproductive group density related in some European countries) as she already performed Distance Sampling Method. Crispus NGO Sibiu will help with methodology of BAM.

2) BAM proposal in Periprava-Letea, Danube Delta, Romania

Recently, another study was proposed regarding jackal ethology in UF ecotouristic park of 800ha located in Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Mrs. Francesca Nemola was interested in completing this study with Bio-Acoustic Monitoring. Crispus NGO Sibiu presented the last surveys and proposed another BAM in an area larger than UF terrain.

Potenzieller Lebensraum des Goldschakals (Canis aureus) in Österreich Status, Habitatfaktoren und Modellierungsansatz

Potential ecological area of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Austria. Status, habitat factors and modeling approach

Author: Jennifer HATLAUF

Mrs. Jennifer Hatlauf presented her Master thesis (Masterarbeit) Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Master of Science (MSc) in Wildtierökologie und Wildtiermanagement (Wildlife Ecology and Management) an der Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (March 2015).
Her work (below you can see an abstract in English) is based on actual European concerns and uses an extensive Bibliography.
In recent years, the golden jackal (Canis aureus) is gaining attention in Central Europe and increased evidence confirms its distribution, also towards Austria. From the originiating countries of the Balkans it expands its area in a natural way (Schwarz, 2013). Previous studies show a large habitat plasticity, which leads to the question whether the golden jackal will be able to find permanantly suitable habitat in Austria.
As a result of a literature review this masterthesis presents the summary of identified factors that may play a crucial role in habitat selection of the golden jackal. Despite its generalistic nature, close to its opportunistic choice of food and its adaptability, it is possible to discern trends in its habitat selection: Its core habitat should therefore provide plentiful cover with varied structures. For example, shrub vegetation or small woods in close proximity to farm areas offer protection and adjacent fields provide sufficient food. In this regard, the intensity of agricultural management is essential. In some european study areas extensive agriculture is positively linked with golden jackal presence. In these regions the jackals are also known to regularly use arable land. However, the more intensive the agriculture, the less arable land is used by the golden jackal (Šálek et al., 2013a). Proximity to waterbodies presents another factor. A lot of records prove the presence of golden jackals near perennial rivers and wetlands (Banea et al., 2012). Likewise, lowland in general is observed as frequently used habitat and mountains with long, snowy winters might operate as barriers (Giannatos, 2004). Besides largely unexplored ecological contexts, these factors provide first indications for analysing golden jackal habitat. Based on a simple overlapping of mentioned factors in QGIS, three modeling approaches were developed. A digital elevation model, a waterbody and the CORINE Land Cover data set for Austria were used as database. Through equivalent combination of chosen factors and a generous assessment of the CORINE landuse classes, model one represents large areas of high habitat potential. This model points to the generalist nature of the golden jackal, but nevertheless, areas stand out. Model two focuses on waterbodies, especially on rivers. This is achieved through low valuation of high distances to streams, but hydraulic structures are not considered. With the complementary assessment of Ramsar wetlands, model three shows an even higher habitat potential of wetlands, than model two.
The resulting habitat potential analysis is a first estimate of possible habitat for the golden jackal in Austria and could introduce a basis of further research. The review shows that intensive research in Europe is still necessary to deepen the ecological knowledge of the golden jackal.

What about golden jackal in Finland and Sweden?

Another dispersal strategy of the golden jackal to the Baltic Sea Coast, Denmark and Germany

by Ovidiu C. Banea
This report will be published in E-Buletin of  GOJAGE website

Photo: Luca Lapini (2009)

First European jackal discovered in Denmark, this was the news we received from Dr Miklós Heltai (Gödöllő, Hungary). The jackal male with possible cryptorchidism or castrated was road killed during last summer, near the Karup locality in Central Jutlandia, Denmark.
The previous report of a jackal sighting in natural areas out of known range arrived last month from Felix Boecker (Germany). The jackal was observed during a common hunting session in Landkreis Vogelsberg, Germany.

The arrival of the golden jackal species in Denmark is the most challenging issue that GOlden JAckal informal study Group Europe (GOJAGE) wants to understand after the recent debate of the legal status in Lithuania and other Baltic States regarding to the wrong "Invasive Alien Species" category given to the golden jackal species.

Biogeography, natural migration

In a very quick period of time the golden jackal could cross all biogeographic region of Europe between Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea coasts. A long distance-dispersal (LDD) pattern was suggested by Banea et al 2014 at the first Jackal International Symposium in Serbia (Oct 2014).

Now, the new challenge we have is to demonstrate that species arrived to Denmark from Germany or another possible migration route, southern parts of Finland and Sweden. It is known that the Gulf of Riga, Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Bothnia are frozen over five months every year and that the Scandinavian countries are linked by human infrastructures. Time will show us if the Baltic Sea northern and southern coasts will be colonized with reproductive groups of jackals at the same time as occurred with the Black Sea coasts. 
Still remain to demonstrate if the male individual from Denmark is related to other closer reproductive groups or was introduced by people. 

Golden jackal is not an Invasive Alien Species

An invasion begins with the introduction of a non-native species, which then establishes a reproducing population, spreads through the introduced range, and sometimes has major impacts on native ecosystems (Simberloff and Rejmánek, 2011). Non-native species, like native species, can impact human health, national and local economies, and the ecosystems and ecological communities in which they reside (Davis, 2009).
Even if invasibility, the susceptibility of a community or ecosystem to the establishment and spread of one or more introduced species (Simberloff and Rejmánek, 2011) and invasiveness, the ability of a species to reproduce, spread away from places where it is introduced, and establish in new locations (Simberloff and Rejmánek, 2011) could be assessed in the case of jackal by its high habitat plasticity (Šálek et al 2014) and common invader life history traits (Lapini and Banea, 2014), it is extremely important to avoid “invasive alien species”(IAS) terminology when is inadequate.
An IAS is a naturalized species that produces reproductive offspring, often in very large numbers, and that spreads over large areas or a nonindigenous species that spreads rapidly, causing environmental or economic damage (Simberloff and Rejmánek, 2011). The invasive species problem is simply an issue of community composition and assembly. The species invasion depends mostly of the pool of “native” species (including both the species richness and functional diversity) relative to the pool of species arriving as propagules, and how well suited each group of species is to any particular environment, invasions being more common in disturbed habitats (Perrings et al, 2010).

An Invasive Alien Species (IAS) needs to meet at least three conditions to be included on the IAS list (Convention on Biological Diversity). For jackals these conditions have never been demonstrated (Banea et al 2015, Trouwborst et al 2015).

A)  Non-native,  allochtonous, introduced by  people
This  condition  in  the  case  of the golden jackal has now become controversial  for many  researchers, including  geneticists, who assess that  the population  of  the golden  jackal present in  the  Baltic  States could  be  linked  to  the known  natural  range  of  the  main  population.  Golden  jackals could have emerged  from  the known  natural  range on the  northern  Black  Sea  coast  or  Caucasus Mountains, using the Dnieper and Daugava catchments without any relief barriers and arriving ultimately in Polesie (a jackal was shot in SW Belarus at the beginning of 2012). 

B) Pose  a threat  to biological  diversity on  the  local  scale 
Though  to  date no  country  within the known natural range of the golden jackal has reported any loss of biodiversity. 

C) Exponential population growth 
As  a phenomenon present in  some  countries  but    still representing an expression of other natural colonization patterns, with numbers below those of other  congeneric  species, such  as  foxes.  Example:  In Romania, 2.502  jackals as  compared with 17.358  red  foxes  were  shot  in the 28  counties  during the 2012-2013  hunting  season. It seems  that  the  howling  behaviour  of  golden jackals  may  produce a false impression of  high numbers of animals near villages, which has led  to overestimation of the population size.
The introduction of jackals by humans in Baltic States is an hypothesis which have never been demonstrated, oppositely, it seems that jackals arrived to the Baltic Sea coast naturally from the known range. 

If jackals fill all stages of an invasion process, with establishment, spread and impact on local biota this may indicate that they invaded a disturbed ecosystem or that the natural areas and patches which are not colonized in vicinity of knowing clusters are represented by “healthy” ecosystems with good species richness and functional diversity, as probably exists in W Polesia and NE Poland.

We may consider then that if the golden jackal species hypothetically increases its number and establish new clusters of reproductive groups in Germany, Denmark, southern parts of Sweden or Finland, together with biological diversity loss at local scale, this would constitute an indicator of a bad management of natural areas or hunting terrains or simply that the ecosystems were deficient regarding trophic networks.


Banea O., Bogdanowicz W., Lapini L., Giannatos G., and N. Spassov. (2015). Letter of complaint about the situation of the golden jackal in Lithuania. E-Bulletin GOJAGE DOI 10.13140/RG.2.1.1196.3043

Davis, M.A. (2009) Invasion Biology. Oxford University Press, New York.

Lapini L. and O.C. Banea: Life-history traits, anthropogenic expansion and conservation status of the golden jackal in Europe 1st Jackal Symposium, Veliko Gradiste, Serbia 2014 

Perrings C., Mooney H., and M. Williamson. (2010). Bioinvasions and globalization : ecology, economics, management, and policy. Oxford ; New York :Oxford University Press

Simberloff D, Rejmánek M (Eds) (2011) Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 792 pp.

Šálek M., Červinka J, Banea O.C., Krofel M., Ćirović D., Selanec I., Penezić A., Grill S., Riegert J. (2014) Population densities and habitat use of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in farmlands across the Balkan Peninsula, European Journal of Wildlife Research, April 2014, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 193-200

Trouwborst A., Krofel M. & J.D.C. Linnell. 2015. Legal Implications of Range Expansions in a Terrestrial Carnivore: The Case of the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) in Europe. 24 Biodiversity and Conservation