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Facts of Black-backed Jackal

These animals are known to cause considerable livestock losses and are not only responsible for catching smaller and weaker stock such as lambs but will also kill large sheep. They will even attack cows that are lying down to calve and will start feeding at the calf as it emerges or at the cow’s udder and inside flanks of the hind legs. Live calves up to one week old can also fall prey to the jackal.

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Habitat of Black-backed Jackal

The jackal is an incredibly adaptable animal that can over a short period of time superbly adapt to any form of habitat. This is why today it is found all over South Africa with a denser population in some areas than in others. Desert regions, the Karoo plains, the grass plains of the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, the mountains of the Eastern and Western Cape and even the coastal areas, pine plantations and maize fields are well known habitats of the animal.

Seasonal diet of black-backed jackal in the Eastern Karoo, South Africa

The results suggest that in this study, black-backed jackals, although being opportunistic in terms of diet composition, had a seasonally stable food resource, most likely facilitated by the presence of cheetahs providing scavenging opportunities.

 

 

 

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Behaviour of Black-backed Jackal

Predominantly a nocturnal animal but may also be observed in daylight. Very timid and will at all costs avoid confrontation with humans.  During the daytime the animals will usually rest in the shade in higher areas and where human activity is limited. Depending on the season, they will be observed single or in pairs or at certain times of the year, even as a family. Litters are usually born around August and consist of four to six pups. They are born in dark, underground dens and the male, the bitch and helper (an offspring from the previous year’s litter) will all care for the pups. Both the male and the bitch mark territorial areas and the size of the territory depends on the availability of food and competition with other dominant pairs.

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Description of Black-backed Jackal

Total length 95-115cm / tail length 27-30cm /shoulder height 40cm /mass 7-10kg
Typical average dog-like carnivore with red-brown fur and a distinctive black and silver saddle on its back that is broad on the neck and shoulders and gradually narrows towards the base of the tail. The base of the tail is red-brown that turns into black towards the tip. The face and legs of the animal show the same distinctive red-brown colour that slightly fades, tending towards white under the breast, more specifically the belly area. The head is shaped with a pointed fox-like muzzle and two distinctive large ears with the red-brown colour on the outside and longish white hairs on the inside.

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The Predation Management Forum

The Predation Management Forum aims to provide guidelines and advice to producers to manage predation in the most humane and environmentally sustainable manner, i.e. guide producers to integrated management. Producers are in fact not harming wildlife, but managing them.

The visuals provided on the website are aimed at the correct diagnosis and correct therapy.  This will enable producers to identify which species killed or maimed their livestock and apply humane, environmentally compatible remediation (therapy).  A large percentage of negative impacts from predation management emanates from incorrect diagnosis of species.

The PMF also aims to communicate with consumers that predation management by livestock producers is approached in a responsible, scientific and sustainable manner.

Information provided by the website is:
  1. Legal
  2. Effective management
  3. Environmentally compatible and sustainable
  4. As little damaging to the target animal as possible”

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