Ask our Expert

Vra vir Gerhard

Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn

Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn is hoof van die Griffon Gifinligtingsentrum en is ‘n kampvegter vir volhoubare voedsel- en veselproduksie in die konteks van ekologiese aanvaarbare praktyke. Hy sal altyd na die produsent se dilemma luister en die mees ekologies aanvaarbare bestuurstegniek aanbeveel om ‘n probleem te bowe te kom.  Skakel hom gerus by 082 446 8946.

 

Vra vir Gerhard

Where do I find a Jackal Calendar?

Petrie Botha who farms in the Middelburg district, Eastern Cape wanted to know where he can find a jackal calendar?  One that indicates when the young is born etc. With reference to the location of a nest, where are jackal when they call at sunset, about 3:00 am, sunrise and about 10:00am?

The PMF Secretariat referred him to the PMF website - article by Niel Viljoen - "Kennis is mag" whereby he refers to the life cycle and behavior of predators.  http://www.pmfsa.co.za/home/knowledge-library/popular-articles/niel-viljoen/item/173-kennis-is-mag


Thys De Wet, Predator expert replied as follows:

"Although jackal is one of only a few predatory species that breed only once every year, there can be up to about four weeks difference in any specific activity. The first sign of Jackal easing into breeding mode is when they start howling more during May, June. This is when they become even more territorial than usual and confirm their piece of real estate, with all their food rations for where they want to breed without competition from other jackal. Even the pups from the previous breeding season get chased off. During this time the den areas will also be chosen. By late May to June the mating will be happen and den sites will be prepared. As the female carry the pups for an average of 63 days, the births will take place from August to September. For the first three weeks or so, the female stays with the pups and the male has to collect food and bring it to the den. After this period the female will start accompanying the male every now & then to help with the food gathering. Sometimes young jackal from the previous litter would remain and share guard duty and food gathering.

Once the new litter starts spending regular time outside the den (at about four weeks) the female would move the pups to a new, clean den. (this may happen more than once, and the female moves that pups whenever humans or other predators get to close to the den).   Through November and December the young animals still do not accompany the adults and stay close to one of several dens. Through January & February the pups accompany the adults and by March, April they start exploring on their own. During the rest of the year they do not stay near a “nest” and although most of their activity is in their core area, they do move around quite a bit. They only flee into burrows when they are pressured by hot pursuit. They actually use burrows for only a four month period out of every twelve months.

During the breeding season jackal howl less than usual, as they do not want to give away the location of the burrows. Howls at sunset and sunrise may be close to the daytime resting site, but they do not always return to the same site every day. Howls at other times can be anywhere in their hunting area or on the edge of their home range, while patrolling and marking the home range.

Properly constructed and maintained electric fencing around lambing camps is an excellent way to a better weaning percentage when predators are present on the farm."