ArticlePDF Available

CAMERA TRAPPING OF THE GOLDEN JACKAL (CANIS AUREUS MOREOTICUS): DATA FROM ITALIAN KARST (NORTH-EASTERN ITALY, GORIZIA PROVINCE)

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Riassunto. Trappolaggio fotografico dello sciacallo dorato (Canis aureus moreoticus): dati dal Carso italiano (Italia nord-orientale, provincia di Gorizia). Gli autori forniscono alcune prime valutazioni descrittive sull'efficienza del trappolaggio fotografico nello studio dello sciacallo dorato nell'Italia nord-orientale, evidenziando alcuni aspetti che possono essere studiati utilizzando questa tecnica. Tra 2012 e 2013 sono state condotte diverse sessioni di trappolaggio fotografico in un'area del Carso isontino (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italia nord-orientale) frequentata dallo sciacallo dorato europeo (Canis aureus moreo-ticus). Durante l'indagine sono state riprese nove diverse specie di meso e macro mammiferi selvatici, usando un numero variabile di trappole fotografiche digitali (2-4) poste in punti adatti al passaggio di animali, tese con o senza esca. Lo sciacallo dorato è stato ripreso 79 volte in nove differenti stazioni dell'area di ricerca, sia in gruppo, sia individualmente. Le riprese hanno fornito discrete informazioni sui ritmi di attività giornaliera della specie e hanno consentito di verificarne la riproduzione sia nel 2012, sia nel 2013, restituendo immagini di cuccioli dell'anno. Nell'area di studio lo sciacallo dorato è sintopico con altri carnivori di media taglia, quali la faina (Martes foina), il tasso (Meles meles), la volpe (Vulpes vulpes) e il gatto selvatico (Felis silvestris silvestris), tuttavia i dati raccol-ti sembrano individuare discrete interferenze con alcuni di essi. La volpe, ad esempio, impara rapidamente ad evita-re i luoghi più frequentati dal gruppo riproduttivo di sciacalli ed è stato anche possibile documentare l'uccisione di una faina da parte di una coppia di sciacalli dorati. Summary. The Authors gather some descriptive evaluations about the efficiency of camera trapping in the studies of the golden jackal in northeastern Italy, identifying some topics which can be studied by using this technique. From August, 2012 to November, 2013 two sessions of camera trapping were conducted in an area of the Italian Karst (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, northeastern Italy) inhabited by the European golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoti-cus). During these surveys nine different species of medium and large sized wild mammals were recorded by using simultaneously a variable number of digital trail cameras (2-4, both baited and unbaited), located in points suitable for animal passages. Seventy-nine photo-trapping records of golden jackal were obtained in nine different locations, frequented by both single specimens or reproductive groups. These records gather good information about the daily activity rhythms of the golden jackals, ascertaining their reproduction both in 2012 and in 2013, due to the photo-trapping of various cubs of the year. In the study area the golden jackal cohabits with the stone marten (Martes foina), the badger (Meles meles), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris), but our photo-trapping studies seems to indicate various interferences with some of them. The red fox, for example, rapidly learns to avoid the places particularly frequented by a reproductive group of golden jackals, and it was also possible to record the killing of a stone marten by a golden jackal pair.
Content may be subject to copyright.
215
Boll. Mus. St. Nat. Venezia, 65: 215-227 (2014)
Stefano Pecorella, Luca Lapini
CAMERA TRAPPING OF THE GOLDEN JACKAL (CANIS AUREUS MOREOTICUS):
DATA FROM ITALIAN KARST (NORTH-EASTERN ITALY, GORIZIA PROVINCE)
Riassunto. Trappolaggio fotografico dello sciacallo dorato (Canis aureus moreoticus): dati dal Carso italiano
(Italia nord-orientale, provincia di Gorizia).
Gli autori forniscono alcune prime valutazioni descrittive sull’efficienza del trappolaggio fotografico nello studio
dello sciacallo dorato nell’Italia nord-orientale, evidenziando alcuni aspetti che possono essere studiati utilizzando
questa tecnica. Tra 2012 e 2013 sono state condotte diverse sessioni di trappolaggio fotografico in un’area del Carso
isontino (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italia nord-orientale) frequentata dallo sciacallo dorato europeo (Canis aureus moreo-
ticus). Durante l’indagine sono state riprese nove diverse specie di meso e macro mammiferi selvatici, usando un
numero variabile di trappole fotografiche digitali (2-4) poste in punti adatti al passaggio di animali, tese con o senza
esca. Lo sciacallo dorato è stato ripreso 79 volte in nove differenti stazioni dell’area di ricerca, sia in gruppo, sia
individualmente. Le riprese hanno fornito discrete informazioni sui ritmi di attività giornaliera della specie e hanno
consentito di verificarne la riproduzione sia nel 2012, sia nel 2013, restituendo immagini di cuccioli dell’anno.
Nell’area di studio lo sciacallo dorato è sintopico con altri carnivori di media taglia, quali la faina (Martes foina),
il tasso (Meles meles), la volpe (Vulpes vulpes) e il gatto selvatico (Felis silvestris silvestris), tuttavia i dati raccol-
ti sembrano individuare discrete interferenze con alcuni di essi. La volpe, ad esempio, impara rapidamente ad evita-
re i luoghi più frequentati dal gruppo riproduttivo di sciacalli ed è stato anche possibile documentare l’uccisione di
una faina da parte di una coppia di sciacalli dorati.
Summary. The Authors gather some descriptive evaluations about the efficiency of camera trapping in the studies
of the golden jackal in north-eastern Italy, identifying some topics which can be studied by using this technique.
From August, 2012 to November, 2013 two sessions of camera trapping were conducted in an area of the Italian
Karst (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, north-eastern Italy) inhabited by the European golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoti-
cus). During these surveys nine different species of medium and large sized wild mammals were recorded by using
simultaneously a variable number of digital trail cameras (2-4, both baited and unbaited), located in points suitable
for animal passages. Seventy-nine photo-trapping records of golden jackal were obtained in nine different locations,
frequented by both single specimens or reproductive groups. These records gather good information about the daily
activity rhythms of the golden jackals, ascertaining their reproduction both in 2012 and in 2013, due to the photo-
trapping of various cubs of the year. In the study area the golden jackal cohabits with the stone marten (Martes foina),
the badger (Meles meles), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris), but our
photo-trapping studies seems to indicate various interferences with some of them. The red fox, for example, rapid-
ly learns to avoid the places particularly frequented by a reproductive group of golden jackals, and it was also possi-
ble to record the killing of a stone marten by a golden jackal pair.
Keywords: Canis aureus, camera trapping, Gorizia Karst, North-Eastern Italy
INTRODUCTION
The golden jackal (Canis aureus Linné, 1758) is a medium-sized adaptable wild dog
widespread from Africa to the Arabian peninsula, up to central Asia, India and Indochina (LAPI-
NI, 2003). The European subspecies (Canis aureus moreoticus I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire,
1835), is the bigger race of the species (LAPINI et al., 2011), widely distributed in Europe but
still poorly known. In the 19th century this golden wild dog strongly declined in various
European countries, probably due to human persecution, but recently it expanded in large parts
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 215
of south-eastern Europe (ARNOLD et al., 2012; LAPINI, 2012). Nevertheless, its populations
are still very fragmented, particularly in the north-west periphery of the European range,
which nowadays encompasses parts of Germany (SEBALD, 2012), Switzerland (KORA news,
2012), some protected areas from West Estonia and Bielorussia (http://goldenjackalaround.
blogspot.com.es/2013/ 04/jackal-in-belarus.html). In most recently colonized countries,
anyway, the knowledge on the current status of the species is still particularly scarce
(http://goldenjackalaround.blogspot.com. es/search/label/Jackals%20in%20Ukraine). At pres-
ent, the bigger reproductive populations occur in the Balkans (Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croa-
tia: KRYŠTUFEK et al., 1997) and in Hungary. The smaller isolated reproductive populations
are probably those of Austria, Italy, Slovenia (KROFEL, 2009), Estonia (http:// goldenjack-
alaround.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/golden-jackal-survey-in-w-estonia.html), Ukraine, those
of the Adriatic coast of Greece (GIANNATOS et al., 2005), Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina and
Montenegro and those distributed along the Black Sea coasts of the Balkan peninsula (FABBRI
et al., 2014).
As mentioned above, golden jackals recently entered in north-eastern Italy (Friuli Venezia
Giulia and Veneto), slowly expanding towards the Italian Alps in Trentino Alto Adige (LAPINI
et al., 2009, 2011) – where in 2013 a young specimen was photo-trapped in “Val di Non”
(http://www.orso.provincia.tn.it/novita/pagina179.html) – and Switzerland (KORA news, 2012).
In May, 2014 a potential reproductive situation (a male and a female) was individuated
in Val Venosta, Alto Adige, by means of photo-trapping (http://www.provincia.bz.it/news/it/
news.asp?news_action=4&news_article_id=459711.html).
Since the 1980s the presence of golden jackals in Italy has been regular, and nowadays
three to eight true or potential reproductive groups (15-40 jackals) might reproduce in the north-
east of the country (LAPINI et al., 2011; LAPINI & RONDININI, 2013; PAOLONI et al., 2014).
In Italy the species has been legally protected from 1992 (LAPINI, 2003), and from a
conservational point of view it is considered as LC (Lower Concern: LAPINI & RONDININI,
2013; RONDININI et al., 2013; PAOLONI et al., 2014), but in most of Europe it is considered as
an “alien” and invasive species in spite of its scarce impact on livestock and biocenosis
(SILLERO-ZUBIRI et al., 2004; SZABÒ et al., 2010; MIHELIČ & KROFEL, 2012). This consider-
ation will be applied also to the first reproductive group established in Estonia, starting a local
eradication-program in the erroneous belief that the species might be introduced by man
(http://canisaureus.tumblr.com/post/51493251946/canidcompendium-jackals-a-non-native-
species).
Nevertheless, the impressive expansion of the European golden jackal is probably one of
the most interesting biological phenomena of the last century. A comprehension of this trend
might be very important from a biological and evolutionistic point of view, as revealed by a
first study focused to determine the genetic structure and the origin of expanding jackals
from south-western Europe. FABBRI et al. (2014) analyzed population samples obtained from
Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia (coasts and hinterland of Dalmatia and Slavonia) and individuals
sampled from north-eastern Italy. Genetic diversity was significantly partitioned; the various
populations studied were partially distinguishable, probably in consequence of their recent
fragmentation. Assignment testing and gene flow analyses suggested that jackals colonizing
Italy have admixed origins from Dalmatian and Slavonian populations. They are not first-gener-
216
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 216
ation immigrants, suggesting that dispersal towards north-eastern Italy is a stepping-stone
process. The intersections between Dinaric-Balkan and Eastern Alps are areas of population
expansion and genetic admixture, highlighting their conservation, ecological and evolution-
ary values (FABBRI et al., 2014).
The first objective record of golden jackal from the karstic areas of the Province of Gorizia
(north-eastern Italy) was a sub-adult male erroneously shot in 1994 (LAPINI et al., 1996; LAPI-
NI, 2009-2010). Subsequently, bio-acoustic surveys and other objective proofs ascertained the
presence of at least one reproductive group in the same area (LAPINI, 2009-2010; LAPINI et
al., 2011), fact that was later confirmed by other bio-acoustic surveys (CONFALONIERI, 2010-
2011; CONFALONIERI et al., 2012). This territorial group dwell mostly in and around the local-
ity “Alture di Polazzo” (Doberdò del Lago/Fogliano-Redipuglia, Gorizia). It is not the only
familiar group of this karstic area, since another reproductive group of golden jackals – shared
with Slovenia (fig. 1) – has been recently located by means of photo-trapping in close prox-
imity to the previous one (CRISTOFOLI, 2014). This indicates that in the whole karstic zone
of the Province of Gorizia the presence of reproductive jackals has probably increased.
It is moreover possible to note that the first of the mentioned above reproductive groups
may be surely considered the longest-lasting one of the whole Italian population (LAPINI et
al., 2011), with a remarkable fidelity to the area, reproducing for several consecutive years
217
a
Fig. 1. A male golden jackal (on the left, in marking posture, December, 6th, 2013) and a female (on the right,
December, 14th, 2013) photo-trapped in Palchisce (Doberdò del Lago, Gorizia). They are specimens from the
second reproductive group of golden jackals, which seems to dwells to the North-East of Doberdò Polje, between
the village of Jamiano and the neighboring Slovenia. Pictures extracted from short photo-trap videos obtained by
agents of the Forestry Regional Corp of the “Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region” (CFR station of
Monfalcone, Gorizia).
Fig. 1. Un maschio di sciacallo dorato (a sinistra, in posizione di marcatura, 6 dicembre 2013) e una femmina
(a destra, 14 dicembre 2013) ripresi in località Palchisce (Doberdò del Lago, Gorizia). Si tratta di due esemplari
appartenenti al secondo gruppo riproduttivo di sciacalli dorati del Carso goriziano, che sembra muoversi a nord-
est del lago carsico di Doberdò, tra il paese di Jamiano e la vicina Slovenia. Immagini estratte da brevi riprese
video da foto-trappole tese da agenti del Corpo Forestale della Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia
(Stazione CFR di Monfalcone, Gorizia).
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 217
in the same areas. In the golden jackal the strict dependence from anthropogenic resources
has been already documented (ROTEM et al., 2011); the long-lasting vitality of this reproduc-
tive group seems to be linked to the particular food availability of the zone (BENFATTO et al.,
2014), mostly due to free ranging livestock traditionally managed in a big agro-touristic farm.
These considerations have been also supported by several videos and pictures of golden jack-
als recorded inside the farm with trail cameras (D. Samsa, ex verbis).
Gorizia Karst seems to be the most suitable area to apply the camera trapping technique
to the golden jackal in Italy, due to the apparent high fidelity of the resident animals to single
areas of their home range. The aim of this paper is to produce some descriptive indications
about the efficiency of this method in the field study of the golden jackal.
STUDY AREA AND METHODS
The study area was located in the Italian Karst, a limestone plateau stretching between
Italy and Slovenia, characterized by extreme scarcity of surface water. The karstic areas of
the Province of Gorizia constitute the northern portion of this karstic plateau, with low alti-
tudes, mild winters and scarce persistence of snow-cover. The environment is mainly covered
by arid grasslands with dense shrub cover, locally dominated by Rubus sp. and Rhus cotinus,
articulated in bushy and open habitat protected by several Regional and International laws.
Trail cameras were placed in close proximity to an agro-touristic farm of 98 ha, where the
traditional free ranging breed of cattle and sheep has been practiced with biologic methods
at least since 1996. Also in previous times, anyway, the agro-pastoral use of these areas had
never been lost, since there are former historical data of continuous similar utilization of
these grazing meadows already in the first years of the 20th century.
Camera trapping was conducted continuously from 28th August 2012 to 28th May 2013 (1st
session) and then from 25th August to 30th November 2013 (2nd session), by using simultane-
ously a variable number of trail cameras (2-4) of three different models: Ltl Acorn 6210, IR Plus
BF HD and Cuddeback Attack. In summer 2013, camera trapping was interrupted due to the height
of the vegetation in the study area, which gave many problems to the camera trapping work.
This preliminary study has been focused on some topics which can be studied by means
of camera trapping. For this reason trail cameras were placed without peculiar experimental
design, in a small area selected on the basis of field surveys and anecdotal information, which
indicated a good frequentation of the zone by jackals.
The area covered by camera traps can be inscribed in a 2.25 km2quadrant, with a mini-
mum distance between cameras of 70 m and a maximum distance of 1,400 m.
The trapping sites were chosen only considering the following factors: tracks of wild
mammals (trails, passages under fences, tunnels in scrublands, etc.); availability of supports
to fix the camera (trees, poles, etc.); presence of traces (footprints, scats, etc.); low frequen-
tation by humans. Trail cameras were used both in photo and video modality, depending on
the time of year, battery status and instrument model.
Only two trapping sites have been continuously active for the duration of the 2nd session
and for part of the 1st due to the high frequentation of these sites by jackals; the others were
218
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 218
activated and disabled on the basis of opportunistic criteria (number of jackals captured in
the first weeks of activation, overall frequentation by other medium-sized mammals and
frequency of human passages).
Another objective is to test the efficiency of fish-based attractants with golden jackals,
simply verifying the interest in the bait. For this aim dry food for cats with fish components
and cod liver oil has been occasionally used. Dry food was mixed with the soil in the center
of the viewing range of the trap and the oil was also used to soak soil or tree trunks. These
two baiting methods were used both separately, to check their efficiency, and/or together, to
maximize the attractiveness of the trapping site.
Olfactory baits were used also to direct or stop the animals in the viewing range of the
trap. Indeed, remote cameras activation could be not quick enough to obtain good mammal
recordings if they are moving along trails without the presence of an attractant.
Controls were usually done every seven days, except when the memory card needed to
be replaced more often. During the controls the memory cards were replaced, the batteries
were checked and eventually substituted, also controlling the viewing range of each camera
traps, which were eventually repositioned. When the trap was baited, the attractant was
controlled and eventually replaced.
The files obtained were re-named with the date and time using the software Renamer and
they were catalogued in folders by location, species, number of specimens. Data about gold-
en jackal captures was then archived with the software Excel, also to gather a simple descrip-
tive elaboration of the overall collected data.
RESULTS
In the study area nine medium- or large-sized wild mammals were recorded by trail
cameras: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), stone marten (Martes foina), European badger (Meles
meles), brown hare (Lepus europaeus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus
elaphus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) and golden
jackal (Canis aureus).
Thirty jackal records were obtained during the 1st session and 49 captures during the 2nd,
for a total of 79 capture/370 days.
During the 1st session, both the golden jackal (30 records) and red fox (92 records) were
captured in four trapping sites. During the 2nd session, red fox was recorded by trail cameras
only once, while jackals were recorded with a frequency of 0.5 captures/day (49 captures/97 days).
In many cases, foxes were recorded in fecal or urinary marking attitudes, particularly in
the presence of attractants. In at least five cases, a golden jackal passes in front of the trail
camera ignoring a recent fox marking.
Five total records of European wildcat were obtained in the study area in both sessions.
In three trapping sites both jackals and wildcats were captured.
Jackals showed a clear interest in both dry food for cats and cod liver oil. In six cases a
jackal or more jackals were recorded while they were rubbing on the soil, where cod liver
oil was placed as attractant.
219
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 219
In 2012, the reproduction of the jackals was documented by three records of a single cub
collected between September and October (fig. 2). The young age of this specimen was easi-
ly recognizable by its small size and juvenile coat patterns.
In 2013, offspring were recorded from 25th August to the end of the study (fig. 3). They
were recorded both alone and together with adults. A maximum of seven jackals were record-
ed together in the viewing range of a photo trap (on 25th August 2013).
In two cases golden jackals were recorded during their passage under the fences of the
agro-touristic farm, while penetrating in or leaving it.
On 14th May 2013, a trail camera with white flash (model Cuddeback Attack) photographed
the attack by two golden jackals against a stone marten (fig. 4). The external genitalia, partially
visible in the image in both jackals, enables to distinguish a male and a female. The attack on the
stone marten has been performed by the male, but it was not possible to exclude a secondary inter-
vention of the female. Subsequently, anyway, the carcass of the stone marten was found almost
intact in the attack site, with obvious signs of the deadly bite. The external appearance and the
overall size of the head, measured at the discovery, suggest that it was an adult male (fig. 5).
An overall analysis of the records shows peaks of activity in the morning (06-08 a. m.)
and evening (08-10 p. m.), but jackals seem to be active also in daylight hours, especially in
some location, probably the nearest to rendez-vouz sites of the territorial group.
DISCUSSION
The high number of records obtained in the same position suggests that golden jackals
tend to be creatures of habit, with frequent displacements from core area/rest zones to other
parts of their home range and vice versa.
220
Fig. 2. Golden jackal cubs photographed by camera traps in 2013 and 2012. Thanks to camera-trapping, it is
possible to ascertain the reproduction of the species also without acoustic stimulations.
Fig. 2. Cuccioli di sciacallo dorato ripresi con foto-trappole nel 2013 e nel 2012. Grazie al foto-trappolaggio è
possibile accertare la riproduzione della specie anche senza ricorrere a stimolazioni acustiche.
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 220
221
Fig. 3. Above: overall daily activity rhythms of sympatric golden jackal and red fox (data from the whole study
area). Below: golden jackal and red fox recording in the same photo trapping station (both sessions). A local
increase in the records of golden jackal correspond to a clear collapse of the red fox records. In the late summer
2013 the golden jackal was locally represented by a reproductive group of seven specimens.
Fig. 3. Sopra: ritmi complessivi di attività giornaliera dello sciacallo dorato e della volpe in condizioni di
simpatria (dati dall’intera zona studiata). Sotto: ricorrenze delle presenze di sciacallo dorato e volpe in una
singola stazione di foto-trappolaggio (entrambe le sessioni). All’aumento delle presenze di sciacallo dorato
corrisponde un evidente crollo delle presenze di volpe. Nell’estate 2013 il sito era usato da un gruppo
riproduttivo di sette sciacalli dorati.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
00 - 02 02 - 04 04 - 06 06 - 08 08 - 10 10 - 12 12 - 14 14 - 16 16 - 18 18 - 20 20 - 22 22 - 00
n° of captures
t (2 h)
Overall daily activity rhythms of sympatric golden jackal and red fox in the whole study area
golden jackal red fox
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Aug-12
Sep-12
Oct-12
Nov-12
Dec-12
Jan-13
Feb-13
Mar-13
Apr-13
May-13
Aug-13
Sep-13
Oct-13
Nov-13
of captures
Month
Comparison jackal/fox recording at various jackal's density
golden jackal red fox
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 221
The present study demonstrates that reproduction can be ascertained also without bio-
acoustic surveys, placing a small number of trail cameras (2-4) baited with fish-based attrac-
tants. This confirms previous indications (LAPINI et al., 2009; LAPINI, 2011), also showing that
camera trapping can be particularly useful when play-back methods can’t be used, as in close
proximity to human settlements. Furthermore, our results have shown that also lone individ-
uals can be easily detected; these specimens often don’t answer to acoustic stimulations or
answer with single howls, virtually indistinguishable from those of domestic dogs (Canis
lupus familiaris). Several observations performed both in north-eastern Italy and in north-west-
ern Slovenia confirm this picture; at low densities jackals may be unresponsive to acoustic
stimulation, but they can be easily detected by remote cameras (LAPINI et al., 2009; MIHELIČ
& KROFEL, 2012).
The recording of nine different species of mammals during the present study suggests that
it is possible to obtain a check-list of large and medium sized mammals sympatric with the
golden jackal by using a small number of camera traps.
The overall camera trapping results indicate that in the whole studied area jackals and foxes
have quite similar daily activity rhythms (fig. 3, above). The data collected during the 1st
camera-trapping session suggest that in the area the golden jackal is always sympatric with
the red fox, but from 25th August to 30th November 2013 (2nd session) the red fox was
recorded only one time in the jackal’s probable core area (fig. 3, below, on the right), while
the golden jackals were recorded with high frequency (49 records in 97 days, corresponding
to about 0.5 record/day). In some of this period the reproductive group was composed of
seven jackals. This suggests that the presence of a large group of golden jackals can cause
the transitory abandonment of the area by the red fox, fact that confirms previous experimen-
tal data (SCHEININ et al., 2006), and same anecdotal data from game management in Croatia
(KRYŠTUFEK & TVRTKOVIĆ, 1990).
According to game management data of the Autonomous Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia
(http://www.regione.fvg.it/rafvg/cms/RAFVG/ambiente-territorio/tutela-ambiente-gestione-
risorse-naturali/gestione-venatoria/FOGLIA9/#n0), it can be excluded that the red fox captures
collapse was caused by hunting pressure. Indeed, only one fox was taken in the three hunt-
ing reserves included in the study area (Fogliano, Doberdò del Lago and Sagrado-San Marti-
no) in the hunting period 2012-2013.
From 28th August 2012 to 31th October 2012 (a part of the 1st session) seven mammals
were recorded: golden jackal (nine records), red fox (47 records), European badger (two
records), roe deer (27 records), stone marten (two records), wild boar (five records) and Euro-
pean hare (11 records).
From 25th August to 31th October 2013 (most part of the 2nd session) only four mammals
were recorded: golden jackal (42 records), wild boar (11 records), stone marten (two records)
and European wildcat (two records). This might indicate that the presence of a familiar group
can modify the local density and the spatial behaviour of various sympatric mammals. Further
data are needed to confirm these ecological interferences, that anyway seem to be particular-
ly apparent with the red fox.
In both our camera trapping sessions the golden jackal seems to be sympatric with the Euro-
pean Wildcat, but the low number of wildcat records doesn’t enable any evaluations.
222
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 222
During the 1st session not more than two jackals were recorded together, and most of the
records (86.7% of the total of the 1st session) have been referred to lone individuals. In the
2nd session the percentage is similar, with 79.6% of the total recording referred to lone jack-
als. This suggests that already in autumn the group was fragmented and the reproductive pair
moved separately from the cubs and from eventual yearlings of the previous generation
(2011). Nevertheless, in the 1st session the members of the group seem to occupy at least part
of the same area: in the same points, indeed, both the pair of jackals and lone jackals were
recorded. Moreover, the fact that in August 2013, the group was composed by 7 specimens,
suggests that some cubs from the previous generation remained together with the parents for
offspring rearing. Indeed, during the 2nd session, the familiar group was composed by seven
individuals, probably two reproductive adults, three-four cubs and one or two female helpers
of the previous year.
These dynamics fit quite well with literature data available from South-Eastern Europe
(DEMETER & SPASSOV, 1993). The presence of a stable and complete familiar group in this
area is probably due to the particular environmental and trophic situation, similar to other Euro-
pean contexts where the species is more common.
The small number of records collected in winter (from December to March), anyway,
suggests that in this period the home range of the resident jackals is bigger than the in other
seasons and that jackals were less frequent in the study area, as well as in the agro-touristic
farm. Data from camera-trapping suggest that in 2012 and 2013 this area was particularly used
during late summer and autumn, when the agro-touristic farm gathers secure food resources
for the offspring growth, such as placentas, carcasses and lambs.
The record of stone marten killing was obviously a fortuitous event, confirming that trail
cameras can also document rare natural interaction between wild animals. The repositioning
of the trail camera on the stone marten carcass has made it possible to ascertain that neither
golden jackals nor other scavengers have visited the carcass after predation. The fact that the
dead small carnivore had not been consumed suggests that the attack had not feeding moti-
vation; it is however possible that the jackals were disturbed, by the white flash of the trail
camera or other.
The attitude of rubbing where cod liver oil was placed (fig. 6) is also particularly inter-
esting and could be used to induce jackals to rub on wire for hair trapping. This behaviour
was also shown by the grey wolf (Canis lupus) (as demonstrated by various videos obtained
with camera traps by M. Pavanello in Carnic Prealps, in litteris). Instead, also the red fox and
stone marten tends to mark with urine where cod liver oil was placed.
The effect on ecosystems in which the Golden Jackal enters is still not clear and this
negatively contributes to the conservation of the species in recently colonized areas (MIHE-
LIČ & KROFEL, 2012). Camera-trapping seems to gather excellent results in the studies on the
Golden Jackal (LAPINI, 2011), particularly in the definition of its reproduction and daily activ-
ity budget, in the study of the habitat utilization, in the definition of the ecological niche of
the species, also within the local community of carnivores. More refined camera trapping stud-
ies on the Golden Jackal are certainly desirable to discover their real potentialities.
223
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 223
224
Fig. 5. The carcass of the stone marten killed by the golden jackals,
discovered after some days in the same site of the attack. Yellow
circles indicate the bite-marks leaved by canine teeth of a jackal.
The body of the marten has not been hereafter consumed.
Fig. 5. La carcassa della faina uccisa dagli sciacalli dorati,
rinvenuta dopo alcuni giorni nello stesso sito dell’aggressione.
Nei cerchi gialli sono evidenziati i fori lasciati dai canini di uno
sciacallo. La carcassa non è stata in seguito consumata.
Fig. 4. A golden jackal pair kills a stone marten (Martes foina).
A very lucky shot, which however confirms that intensive camera
trapping surveys can provide documentary evidence on rare
interactions between wild animals.
Fig. 4. Predazione di una coppia sciacalli dorati su faina (Martes
foina). Una ripresa decisamente fortunata, che tuttavia conferma che
le campagne intensive di foto-trappolaggio possono documentare
anche le più rare interazioni tra animali selvatici.
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 224
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
A particular thank you to several components of the Samsa family, owners of the agro-
touristic farm “Alture di Polazzo”, for their kind long-lasting help in the study and conser-
vation of the golden jackals from Gorizia Karst. Thanks also to Fulvio Faggionato, director
of the hunting reserve of Doberdò del Lago, and to Saimon Ferfolja, Consuelo Canciani and
Jacopo Cantoni for their kind support in field activities. Last, but not least, we thank Davide
Righetti (Province of Bolzano/Bozen) for various information on the jackals from Alto Adige,
and the Forestry Regional Corps of the Autonomous Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (CFR) from
the Station of Monfalcone (Gorizia) for their invaluable help in the localization of the second
jackal reproductive group from the study area.
225
Fig. 6. Chest and back-rolling displays in two golden jackals stimulated by cod liver oil used as olfactory attrac-
tant. This behavior, exhibited also by wolves, should be easily utilized to obtain non-invasive genetic samples.
Fig. 6. Due sciacalli dorati si rotolano al suolo stimolati dalla presenza di olio di fegato di merluzzo usato come
attrattivo olfattivo. Questo comportamento, noto anche nei lupi, potrebbe essere facilmente sfruttato per il
campionamento genetico non invasivo.
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 225
References
ARNOLD J., HUMER A., HELTAI M., MURARIU D., SPASSOV
N., HACKLANDER K., 2012. Current status and distri-
bution of golden jackals (Canis aureus L., 1758) in
Europe. Mammal Review, 42: 1-11.
BENFATTO M., PESARO S., SAMSA D., COMUZZO C., FILA-
CORDA S., 2014. Prime osservazioni italiane di atti-
vità predatoria da parte dello sciacallo dorato (Canis
aureus) su ovini domestici nel Carso goriziano. In:
Imperio S., Mazzaracca S., Preatoni D.G. (eds.), IX
Congresso Italiano di Teriologia. Civitella Alfedena
(AQ), 7-10 Maggio 2014. Hystrix, the Italian Journal
of Mammalogy, 25 (Supplement): 89.
CONFALONIERI E., 2010-2011. Distribuzione dello scia-
callo dorato (Canis aureus) nel Friuli Venezia Giulia
attraverso la tecnica del jackal-howling. Tesi di Laurea
Specialistica in Evoluzione del Comportamento Anima-
le e dell’Uomo, Università degli Studi di Torino (rela-
tore: Cristina Giacoma).
CONFALONIERI E., TRAVAIN T., VISINTIN A., CABONI A.,
FILACORDA S., 2012. Distribution of the golden jack-
al (Canis aureus) in Friuli Venezia Giulia by jackal
howling: methodological and conservation implica-
tions. Oral Communication to the “VIII Congresso
Italiano di Teriologia. Dalla ricerca alle azioni concre-
te di conservazione. Le strategie di intervento sui
Mammiferi in Italia”. Piacenza, Urban Center, 9-11th
May 2012.
CRISTOFOLI L., 2014. Progetto Life+Arctos-Azione E4
“Valutazione abbondanza e distribuzione della popo-
lazione di Orso bruno nell’area alpina”. Relazione
sull’attività di monitoraggio della specie Orso bruno
(Ursus arctos) mediante fototrappolaggio (anno 2013).
Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia-Direzione
centrale attività produttive, commercio, cooperazio-
ne, risorse agricole e forestali, Servizio caccia e risor-
se ittiche, Ufficio Studi Faunistici ed., Udine: 1-39.
DEMETER A., SPASSOV N., 1993. Canis aureus Linnaeus,
1758 - Schakal, Goldschakal. In: Stubbe M., Krapp F.
(eds.), Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Raubsäuger
(Teil I). Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden: 107-138.
FABBRI E., CANIGLIA R., GALOV A., ARBANASIĆ H., LAPI-
NI L., BOŠKOVIĆ I., FLORIJANČIĆ T., VLASSEVA A.,
AHMED A., MIRCHEV R., RANDI E., 2014. Genetic
structure and expansion of golden jackals (Canis
aureus) in the north-western distribution range (Croa-
tia and eastern Italian Alps). Conservation Genetics,
15: 187-199.
GIANNATOS G., MARINOS Y., MARAGOU P., CATSADO-
RAKIS G., 2005. The status of the golden jackal (Canis
aureus) in Greece. Belgian Journal of Zoology, 135:
145-149.
KORA news, 2012. Koordinierten Forschungsprojekten
zur Erhaltung und zum Management der Raubtiere in
der Schweiz (KORA), Thunstrasse 31, CH-3074 Muri.
http://www.kora.ch/news/archiv/20120908d.htm
(accessed on 17th October 2012).
KROFEL M., 2009. Confirmed presence of territorial
groups of Golden Jackals (Canis aureus) in Slovenia.
Natura Sloveniae, 11(1): 65-68.
KRYŠTUFEK B., TVRTKOVIĆ N., 1990. Range expansion
by dalmatian jackal population in the 20th century
(Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758). Folia Zoologica, 39(4):
291-296.
KRYŠTUFEK B., MURARIU D., KURTONUR C., 1997. Pres-
ent distribution of the Golden Jackal Canis aureus in
the Balkans and adjacent regions. Mammal Review,
27(2): 109-114.
LAPINI L., 2003. Canis aureus (Linnaeus, 1758). In:
Boitani L., Lovari S., Vigna Taglianti A. (eds.), Fauna
d’Italia. Mammalia III. Carnivora-Artiodactyla. Calde-
rini, Bologna: 47-58.
LAPINI L., 2009-2010. Lo sciacallo dorato Canis aureus
moreoticus (I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1835) nell’Ita-
lia nord-orientale (Carnivora: Canidae). Tesi di Laurea
in Zoologia, Facoltà di Scienze Naturali, Università
di Trieste, Anno accademico 2009-2010 (tutor E.
Pizzul), 118 pp.
LAPINI L., 2011. Lo sciacallo dorato in Trentino? Atten-
zione agli ululati e alle volpi con la coda corta. Il
Cacciatore Trentino, Trento, 83: 19-22.
LAPINI L., 2012. Der Goldschakal (Canis aureus moreo-
ticus) in Europa. In: Ganslosser U. (ed.), Hund, Wolf
& Co. Proceedings of the 5th International Sympo-
sium on Canids. Wolf & Co 2011. Filander Verlag
GmbH, Germany, Nuembrecht, Germany: 181-210.
LAPINI L., RONDININI C., 2013. Canis aureus. Liste Rosse
italiane IUCN Federparchi. http://www.iucn.it/scheda.
php?id=128228144 (accessed on 26th March 2014)
LAPINI L., CONTE D., ZUPAN M., KOZLAN L., 2011. Ital-
ian jackals 1984-2011. An updated review (Canis
aureus: Carnivora, Canidae). Bollettino del Museo di
Storia Naturale di Venezia, 62: 219-232.
LAPINI L., DALL’ASTA A., DUBLO L., SPOTO M., VERNIER
E., 1996. Materiali per una teriofauna dell’Italia nordo-
rientale (Mammalia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia). Gortania
- Atti del Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale, 17
(1995): 149-248.
LAPINI L., MOLINARI P., DORIGO L., ARE G., BERALDO P.,
2009. Reproduction of the Golden Jackal (Canis
aureus moreoticus I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1835) in
Julian Pre-Alps, with new data on its range-expansion
in the High-Adriatic Hinterland (Mammalia, Carnivo-
ra, Canidae). Bollettino del Museo civico di Storia
naturale di Venezia, 60: 169-186.
226
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 226
MIHELIČ M., KROFEL M., 2012. New records of the gold-
en jackal Canis aureus L. in the upper Soča valley
Slovenia. Natura Sloveniae, 14(2): 51-63.
PAOLONI D., CIUCCI P., LAPINI L., LOY A., 2014. 3.6.4.
Carnivori. In: Genovesi P., Angelini P., Bianchi E.,
Dupré E., Ercole S., Giacanelli V., Ronchi V., Stoch
F. (eds.), Specie e habitat di interesse comunitario in
Italia: distribuzione, stato di conservazione e trend.
ISPRA publ., Serie Rapporti, 194/2014: 190-196.
RONDININI C., BATTISTONI A., PERONACE V., TEOFILI C.
(compilatori), 2013. Lista Rossa IUCN dei Vertebra-
ti Italiani. Comitato Italiano IUCN e Ministero
dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare
ed., Roma: 1-54. http://www.iucn.it/index.php
(accessed on 26th March 2014).
ROTEM G., BERGER H., KING R., BAR (KUTIEL) P., SALT-
ZL D., 2011. The Effect of Anthropogenic Resources
on the Space-Use Patterns of Golden Jackals. Journal
of Wildlife Management, 75(1): 132-136.
SCHEININ S., YOM-TOV Y., MOTRO U., GEFFEN E., 2006.
Behavioural responses of red foxes to an increase in
the presence of golden jackals: a field experiment.
Animal Behaviour, Elsevier publ. ltd., 71: 577-584.
SEBALD C., 2012. Goldschakal im Nationalpark - Sensa-
tion im Bayerwald Sueddeutsche Zeitung 6.07.2012.
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/nationalpark-
sensation-im-bayerwald-1.1404935 (accessed on 17th
October 2012).
SILLERO-ZUBIRI C., HOFFMANN M., MACDONALD D.W.,
2004. Canids: foxes, wolves, jackals and dogs: status
survey and conservation action plan, 2nd edn. IUCN
Canid Specialist Group ed., Cambridge, UK.
SZABÒ L., HELTAI M., LANSKI J., 2010. Jackal Versus
Livestock - Is It a Real Problem? Hungarian Agricul-
tural Research, Journal of the Ministry of Rural Devel-
opment Hungary, 19(4): 4-10.
Authors addresses:
Stefano Pecorella - Via Volontari della Libertà 27,
I-33050 Terzo d’Aquileia (UD), Italy;
stefano_pecorella@hotmail.it
Luca Lapini - Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale,
Via Marangoni 39, I-33100 Udine, Italy;
lucalapini@libero.it
227
0483 11_9812_Pecorella_Lapini p 214 a 227.qxp:StoriaNaturale65 13-07-2015 16:03 Pagina 227
... La necrofagia costantemente esercitata sulle loro carcasse potrebbe da un lato spiegare l'elevata mortalità stradale degli sciacalli in Italia, dall'altro alcuni casi di cannibalismo (ingestione di alcune parti di Canis aureus, fatto già segnalato nei Balcani), così come l'utilizzo di resti di Vulpes vulpes, indicata dall'ingestione di porzioni di questo canide. La predazione volontaria di Martes foina, al contrario, è stata recentemente dimostrata dal foto-trappolaggio (Pecorella & Lapini, 2015). ...
... Nonostante ciò la contemporanea presenza di lupi e sciacalli nell'ampia zona dei Magredi pordenonesi è stata verificata mediante camera-trapping almeno fino al 2019. La predazione volontaria di Martes foina, come già riferito, è stata recentemente dimostrata dal foto-trappolaggio (Pecorella & Lapini, 2015), che ha anche più volte evidenziato interazioni negative con Meles meles e Vulpes vulpes, specie che comunque in tempi diversi possono coabitare nello stesso sistema di tane utilizzato dallo sciacallo in fase riproduttiva (Potočnik et al., 2019, Pecorella, 2021. ...
Article
Full-text available
Riassunto Gli Autori fanno una breve panoramica delle conoscenze sullo sciacallo dorato in Italia, aggiornandola a fine settembre 2021. La specie è attual-mente diffusa in tutta l'Italia settentrionale, a Sud almeno fino alla Provincia di Ravenna. In questa vasta zona della Penisola Italiana si stima siano ormai presenti 196-250 esemplari suddivisi in almeno 37-47 gruppi riproduttivi territoriali. La sorveglianza sanitaria di questi animali sembra per ora indicare buone condizioni di salute delle popolazioni. In Italia la specie non solleva forte allarme sociale, nonostante locali sospetti di conflitto con la zootecnia e l'attività venatoria. In Italia la specie è integralmente protetta dalla LN 157/92 e per il momento gode di discreto apprezzamento popolare. In questo paese la specie è fortemente antropofila sia dal punto di vista ambientale, sia trofico. I suoi principali problemi di conservazio-ne in questo paese sono gli investimenti stradali e il bracconaggio, esercitato sia con le armi da fuoco, sia con pesticidi e la competizione intra-guild con il lupo. La sua espansione verso Sud potrebbe essere limitata proprio dall'equilibrio con quest'ultimo. Abstract An updated overview about Canis aureus in Italy The Authors make an updated overview about Canis aureus in Italy summarizing all the data available up to September 2021. At present the species is distributed in the whole northern Italy, to the South reaching at least the Province of Ravenna. In this wide area of Italian Peninsula it was possible to estimate the presence of about 196-250 specimens, subdivided in at least 37-47 reproductive territorial groups. The health surveillance of Italian jackals up to now seems to indicate a good sanitary condition of the populations from northeastern Italy. In Italy the species does not cause strong social alarm, despite suspected overestimated local conflicts with agriculture, livestock and game species. It is nominally protected by Italian National Law 157/192 and for the moment it enjoys some popular appreciation. In the whole country the species is highly anthropophilic both from environmental and trophic point of views. The main conservation problems of Canis aureus in Italy are road accidents and poaching, this last conducted with weapons, traps and poisons, and the intra-guild competition with grey wolves. Its further expansion to the South in Italy may be limited in the future by ecological balance with the latter. Premessa Il recente arrivo dello sciacallo dorato in Italia si inserisce nell'ampio quadro di conoscenze sulle penetrazioni fauni-stiche post-glaciali da oriente. La faina (Martes foina), per fare soltanto un esempio, è comparsa in Europa occidenta-le soltanto negli ultimi 6.000-8.000 anni (Stubbe, 1993), probabilmente grazie alla neolitizzazione delle popolazioni indo-europee di queste zone. Tuttavia, mentre il percorso di questo mustelide sinantropico di provenienza medio-orien-tale è stato ricostruito grazie allo studio di reperti sub-fossili, l'arrivo di Canis aureus si svolge sotto i nostri occhi e rappre-senta un caso di studio privilegiato per comprendere le varia-bili biotiche e abiotiche che ne condizionano l'espansione. Questa è la ragione del grande interesse che la specie sta susci-tando anche in Italia, con un aumento esponenziale dei dati disponibili, pubblicati e non. Scopo di queste righe è fornire una prima incompleta siste-matizzazione di questa vasta trama di conoscenze, ancora poco limate, in rapida evoluzione e per certi versi ancora con-traddittorie. Esse si devono alle ricerche del Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale di Udine, che segue l'espansione della spe-*Dedicato a Fabio Perco (1946-2019), alla cui poliedrica sensibilità naturalistica si devono i primi dati su Canis aureus in Italia.
... Cat or dog food or also fish and cod liver oil can be used and mixed to the soil or rubbed on trees. This also induces the animal to spend more time in front of the camera, with more probability to take a good picture (Georgiev et al. 2015, Pecorella & Lapini 2015, Tsingarska et al. 2018. ...
... Ciò si verifica sia in Italia, sia nel resto d'Europa, dove lo Sciacallo dorato è tutt' ora in una fase di forte espansione. I gruppi familiari del Carso isontino sono i più antichi nuclei popolazionali italiani, stabili almeno dall'inizio degli anni '90 Pecorella & Lapini 2014). Essi sembrano dunque avere un ruolo chiave per la conservazione della specie in Italia. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Authors outline the present situation and distribution maps of 118 animal species of European Community interest protected by the EU 92/43/EEC Directive in Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (North-eastern Italy). They belong to various phyla and classes (Mollusca [6 species], Annelida [1 species], Arthropoda [27 species], Vertebrata [84 species]), at various degrees of protection included in the lists of the so-called Habitat Directive (All. II, IV, V). In the present situation the main conservation problems concern various hygrophilous lowland-dwelling species, highly menaced from agriculture, pollution and habitat fragmentation. A lot of meadow-dwelling species, on the contrary, are menaced by forest expansion in various karstic and mountain environment. The great expansion of the mountain woods on the alpine mountain chain, on the other hand, has surely favoured various forest species, like a lot of big and medium Carnivores
Article
In mammalian terrestrial carnivore communities, larger-sized species typically dominate smaller species in intraguild competitions. Consequently, smaller species modify their ecological niches to separate from larger competitors, enabling successful sympatry. The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a meso-canid that ranges across Eurasia and often co-occurs with the smaller red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Potential trophic niche overlaps suggest that resource partitioning occurs among these sympatric canids. I undertook a review of the patterns in niche overlap/partitioning of food, space and time observed between the golden jackal and sympatric red fox and discuss the impacts of human interventions on their dynamics. I compiled eleven studies reporting overlap indices (eight trophic, two spatio-temporal and one spatial) as well as four additional studies reporting spatio-temporal activities without any indices. Highly trophic overlaps between golden jackal and sympatric red fox were observed when they mainly preyed upon rodents. The trophic overlaps were observed in agriculturally dominated landscapes, due to high availability of rodent preys. Conversely, resource subsidies to golden jackals via human activities (e.g. livestock or hunting carcasses) trophically separated them from rodentivorous red foxes. In human-modified landscapes, the temporal niches overlapped as both canids exhibited nocturnal activities, while fine-scale spatial separation was observed, preventing agonistic encounters. This review found that due to their high trophic overlaps, spatio-temporal partitioning between golden jackals and red foxes might be key to their sympatry. Further research integrating three niche dimensions (food, space and time) as well as a community-wide approach will facilitate a better understanding of their competitive interactions and the development of conservation planning.
Article
Full-text available
Riassunto – La messa in opera di alcune foto-trappole sul basso corso del torrente Torre (pianura orientale del Friuli Venezia Giulia), utilizzate in modo opportunistico in un periodo compreso tra febbraio e giugno 2021, ha permesso di raccogliere alcune osservazioni aneddotiche sulla biologia dello sciacallo dorato europeo (Canis aureus moreoticus) e trarne alcune conclusioni descrittive. Lo studio con le foto-trappole si è svolto principalmente nei pressi dei sistemi ipogei scavati dal tasso (Meles meles), che come noto vengono sfruttati sia dalla volpe rossa (Vulpes vulpes) sia dallo sciacallo dorato (Canis aureus). Le osservazioni presentate in questa nota si riferiscono a due diverse coppie di sciacalli dorati. Una di esse ha selezionato uno dei sistemi di tane controllati attraverso le foto-trappole per la nascita e l'allevamento dei cuccioli, fornendo varie informazioni di valore aneddotico relative alla biologia riproduttiva questa specie. Ad esempio è stato possibile individuare con precisione la data del parto, il periodo in cui i cuccioli sono usciti dalle tane e il loro numero e osservare alcune dinamiche sociali di particolare interesse. L'altra coppia non ha occupato nessuna delle tane note nell'area, ma è stata ripresa in prossimità di tane occupate dal tasso e dalla volpe e su altri punti di alimentazione e di passaggio, suggerendo un quadro non ancora chiaro di simpatria tra volpe e sciacallo dorato nella pianura orientale del Friuli Venezia Giulia. Lo studio descrive i comportamenti osservati e offre possibili spunti di riflessione su alcuni aspetti della biologia e dell'ecologia dello sciacallo dorato che potrebbero essere approfonditi mediante il camera trapping. Parole chiave: Canis aureus, riproduzione, foto-trappolaggio, Italia nordorientale. Abstract –The opportunistic use of camera traps between February and June, 2021 in the lower course of River Torre (Eastern plain of the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia), enabled to collect a number of anecdotal observations about the biology of the European golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoticus) and to draw some desctriptive conclusions. The study with camera traps was mainly carried out near the underground systems excavated by the European badger (Meles meles), called 'setts' which are known to be used by both the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the golden jackal (Canis aureus). The observations presented in this note refer to two different pairs of golden jackals. One of them selected one of the camera traps-monitored setts for the birth and the rearing of their pups, thus providing various information of anecdotal value on the reproductive biology of the species. For example, it was possible to accurately identify the date of birth, the period in which the pups came out of the dens and their number, and to observe some social dynamics of particular interest. The other pair didn't occupy any of the setts known in the area, but were filmed near setts occupied by badgers and/or foxes and in other feeding and passage spots, suggesting a still-unclear picture of sympatry between red fox and golden jackal in the Eastern plain of the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia. The study describes the observed behaviors and offers possible food for thought about some aspects of golden jackal biology and ecology which could be investigated by the means of Camera Trapping.
Article
Full-text available
the Authors outline the present distribution of the golden jackal Canis aureus in Italy with special attention to its recent expansion and to the problems that affect its conservation in northern Italy. Key-words: Canis aureus, expansion, Italy, Conservation.
Article
Full-text available
The golden jackal, widely distributed in Europe, Asia and Africa, is one of the less studied carnivores in the world and the genetic structure of the European populations is unknown. In the last century jackals strongly declined mainly due to human persecution, but recently they expanded again in eastern Europe. With the aim to determine the genetic structure and the origin of expanding jackals, we analyzed population samples obtained from Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia (Dalmatia and Slavonia) and individuals sampled in north-eastern Italy. Samples were typed at the hypervariable part of the mitochondrial DNAcontrol- region (mtDNACR1) and at 15 canine autosomal microsatellite loci (STR), and analyzed using multivariate, Bayesian and landscape genetic methods. The mtDNA CR1 was monomorphic, showing a single haplotype shared among all the populations. The STR loci were variable, with 2–14 alleles and intermediate values of heterozygosity (Ho = 0.47; He = 0.51). Genetic diversity was significantly partitioned (hST = 0.07; P<0.001) and the populations were partially distinct, perhaps in consequence of recent fragmentations. Jackals from Dalmatia were the most genetically differentiated. Assignment testing and gene flow analyses suggested that jackals colonizing Italy have admixed origins from Dalmatian and Slavonian populations. They are not first generation migrants, suggesting that dispersal towards north eastern Italy is a stepping-stone process. Golden jackal and wolf colonization patterns might be different, with prevalent short-distance dispersal in jackals versus prevalent long distance dispersal in wolves. The admixed origin of jackals in the Alps ensures abundant genetic variability, which may enhance adaptive fitness and expectancy of population growth. The intersections between Dinaric–Balkan and Eastern Alps are areas of population expansion and admixture, highlighting their conservation, ecological and evolutionary values.
Article
Full-text available
Broadcasted jackal howls were used to survey the status of the golden jackal in Greece. All sites with recent indication of jackal presence were surveyed at selected calling stations, and minimum population estimates were recorded. The results of the survey show that both populations and distribution area of the golden jackal in Greece have been declining steadily during the last three decades. The golden jackal has disappeared from Central and Western Greece and is currently confined in discontinuous, isolated population clusters in Peloponnese, Fokida, Samos isl., Halkidiki and North-eastern Greece. The reduction was more distinct in Southern Greece, which used to be the jackal's main area 20 years ago. The current minimum size of the jackal population in Greece was estimated at 152-162 different territorial groups. The largest population cluster was found in Nestos - Vistonida area, NE Greece. In Southern Greece, the jackal is found in the Mediterranean maquis zone at altitudes below 600m asl. Some individuals were observed up to 1000m asl, but were considered exceptional. In Northern Greece the species was found in areas below 250m asl, while the highest population densities were found in thickets around wetlands up to 10m asl.
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT1 The golden jackal Canis aureus is one of the most widespread canid species with a range covering areas of central, eastern and southern Europe, northern Africa and parts of Asia. Distribution of the golden jackal in Europe has been dynamic, including dramatic declines (until the 1960s), recovery (1960s and 1970s) and expansion (from the early 1980s onwards). 2 We present up‐to‐date information on golden jackal status in Europe and range expansion. 3 For data collection we reviewed the scientific literature and contacted scientists from the relevant countries. We distinguished between vagrant animals and established populations. 4 In the last decade, there has been an increase in jackal records in areas where the species has not been reported before. Increased presence is recorded northwards and westwards of the distribution range of the golden jackal, specifically in Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia. In Austria, the first case of reproduction was confirmed in 2007; reproduction has also recently been reported in Italy. 5 Results indicate an ongoing expansion in Europe's jackal population, with a particular spread of the Balkan populations towards central Europe. Although there are numerous reports of sightings, only few originate from confirmed sources and in many areas status is unknown or vague. There is a general lack of ecological data and almost no information on ecological consequences associated with the golden jackal expansion.
Article
Full-text available
The article presents the first confirmed records of territorial groups of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Slovenia. During the survey at Ljubljansko barje on 20 th February 2009, we noted a response by two jackal groups to a broadcasted howling near the village of Bevke (UTM VM82, 288 m a.s.l.). Since we recorded no response at any other location, it seems that the number of territorial golden jackals at Ljubljansko barje is small. Further studies would be needed to determine whether the jackals have already established permanent territories also in other regions of Slovenia. Abstract. POTRJENA PRISOTNOST TERITORIALNIH SKUPIN ŠAKALOV (CANIS AUREUS) V SLOVENIJI - V prispevku navajam prve potrjene podatke o prisotnosti teritorilnih skupin šakalov (Canis aureus) v Sloveniji. Med popisom na Ljubljanskem barju dne 20.2.2009 smo v bližini vasi Bevke (UTM VM82, 288 m n.v.) zabeležili odziv dveh skupin šakalov. Glede na to, da nismo zaznali odziva na nobeni drugi lokaciji, sklepam, da je število teritorialnih šakalov na Ljubljanskem barju majhno. Potrebne bi bile nadaljnje raziskave, s katerimi bi lahko ugotovili, ali so šakali vzpostavili stalne teritorije tudi na katerem drugem območju v Sloveniji. Ključne besede: šakal, Canis aureus, Slovenija, teritorialne skupine
Article
Full-text available
REPRODUCTION OF THE GOLDEN JACKAL (CANIS AUREUS MOREOTICUS I. GEOFFROY SAINT HILAIRE, 1835) IN JULIAN PRE-ALPS, WITH NEW DATA ON ITS RANGE-EXPANSION IN THE HIGH-ADRIATIC HINTERLAND (MAMMALIA, CARNIVORA, CANIDAE) Riassunto. Riproduzione dello sciacallo dorato (Canis aureus moreoticus I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1835) nelle Prealpi Giulie, con nuovi dati sulla sua espansione areale nell'entroterra alto-adriatico (Mammalia, Carnivora, Canidae). Vengono presentati alcuni dati sulla recente espansione dello sciacallo dorato Canis aureus moreoticus I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1835, nelle Prealpi italo-slovene, aggiornando le conoscenze sulla distribuzione della specie nell'entroterra Alto-Adriatico. In quest'area lo sciacallo ha recentemente aumentato la sua presenza, con varie evidenze che indicano la stabilizzazione dell'area di influenza di alcuni gruppi familiari sia in Italia, sia in Slovenia. Dal 2003, infatti, questo canide ha stabilizzato la posizione di alcuni punti tradizionali di richiamo vocale in varie zone delle Prealpi Giulie, riproducendosi con certezza almeno nel 2007. Questo quadro sembra congruente con una nuova blanda tendenza all'espansione dell'areale della specie, che sembra comprendere il Carso e le Prealpi Giulie italo-slovene. La conservazione di questa fragile popolazione trans-nazionale di sciacalli dorati sembra essere interamente dipendente da campagne di sensibilizzazione del pubblico venatorio, sia in Italia, sia in Slovenia. Summary. Data on the recent expansion of the golden jackal Canis aureus moreoticus I. Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1835, in the Italian-Slovenian Pre-Alps are presented, updating the knowledge on the distribution of this species in the High Adriatic hinterland. In this area, the species has recently increased its presence, with evidence of the range-stabilization of local family-groups both in Italy and in Slovenia. Since 2003 this canid has established some traditional howling spots in various zones of the Julian Pre-Alps, reproducing with certainty at least in 2007. This picture seems to be congruent with a new bland trend of range expansion of the species that seems to encompass the whole Italian-Slovenian Karst and the adjacent Italian-Slovenian Julian Pre-Alps. The conservation of this trans-national fragile population of golden jackals seems to be entirely dependent to public awareness campaigns directed to the hunters, both in Italy and in Slovenia.
Article
Until 1920 Dalmatian jackals populated S Dalmatia and adjacent regions of the Montenegrin coast; at the beginning of the century they spread into N Dalmatia where they established a permanent population between 1920-1980 -Authors
Article
Small, scattered, but resident, populations of Golden Jackal Canis aureus occur along the coasts of the Balkan Peninsula. The bulk of these European Jackals is concentrated in the eastern parts of the Peninsula, mainly in Bulgaria. The northern border of the resident population lies along the Danube in the Walachian Plain of Romania, and in Srem (Yugoslavia). Vagrants may appear far outside the Balkans in north-eastern Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Whilst the species is in decline in Greece, it has expanded its area in Bulgaria from = 2400 km2 in 1962 to 80 000 km2 in 1985, i.e. a 33-fold range increase within 23 years.