- Common (Canis aureus)
- side-striped (Canis adustus)
- black-backed (Canis mesomelas)
Size: 15 to 20 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 15 to 35 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Habitat: Open and wooded savanna
What does a jackal look like?
The three jackal species found in East Africa differ mainly in color and choice of habitat. The sandy-colored golden jackal prefers open, grassy plains, while the side-striped jackal lives along waterways with dense undergrowth. This jackal is drabber in color, has a white tip on the tail and indistinct stripes along the sides of the body. The black-backed jackal is recognized by the mantle of black hair on the back that contrasts with the rust-colored body. The tail is black-tipped, as is that of the golden jackal. The black-blacked jackal is usually the most frequently seen as it is more diurnal than the other two species.
Where do jackals live?
The common jackal lives in open savannas, deserts and arid grasslands. Side-striped jackals are found in moist savannas, marshes, bushlands and mountains. The sliver-backed jackal lives primarily in savannas and woodlands. The home range of most common jackals is Africa, except for the golden jackal, which can also be found in parts of Asia. Not surprisingly these animals look amazingly like dogs as they are part of the dog family. Fur color includes golden, ginger and reddish brown. The black-backed jackal, as its name suggests, bears a distinctive black saddle over its shoulders and back.
What does a jackal eat?
Jackals can best be described as opportunistic omnivores. They cooperatively hunt small or young antelopes and also eat reptiles, insects, ground-dwelling birds, fruits, berries and grass. They will pick over kills made by large carnivores and even frequent rubbish dumps in pursuit of food.
What are the natural enemies of the jackal?
Being highly adaptable and resourceful, jackals have not displayed large population depletions like many other African carnivores. However, increased habitat loss causes them to infringe more and more on human settlements, where they may be viewed as a danger to livestock and poultry.
How do jackals live?
Jackals live singly or in pairs, but are sometimes found in loose packs of related individuals. They are among the few mammalian species in which the male and female mate for life. Mated pairs are territorial, and both the female and male mark and defend the boundaries of their territory.
Did You Know this about jackals?
Jackals are noisy. Family or pack members communicate with each other by a screaming yell and yapping, or a sirenlike howl when a kill is located.
Jackals are very cunning and resourceful. Although usually considered scavengers-they do pick over kills made by large carnivores and frequent rubbish dumps-they also hunt and kill a variety of prey.
Jackals are excellent hunters, but often prefer the easy meal. They often follow big cats such as lions to scavenge their leftover prey.
Despite their unshakable reputation as scavengers, jackals regularly catch their own food. All species prey on rodents and small mammals, with some specializing in poisonous snakes, large ground birds and even young antelope.
The Simien jackal, also known as the Ethiopian wolf, is highly endangered due to habitat destruction, diseases from domestic dogs and overgrazing.
Download free Jackal wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Jackal Coloring pages
Print free Jackal coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.