October Picture: Eastern black-backed jackal

Black-backed jackals exist in two subspecies, an East-African and a Cape version. The canines look a bit like a mixture of fox and wolf. Obviously the dark back gave the name to this jackal species. They are not endangered due to their excellent ability to adapt.


Usually jackals are hunting with their family at dusk. In areas without rivals they can also be seen during daytime, near human settlements – where they can perfectly live as well – they are nocturnal. Main food is meat, usually from smaller species up to mid-size antelopes such as impalas, but they also eat plants and berries and can live from human waste. They are effective hunters, but can be lazy if possible and follow lions to eat the leftovers.


Black-backed jackals live monogamous with their offspring that leaves the parents at about 2.5 years of age to form an own family. Usually 3-6 puppies are born, about half of them survives. Gestation period is two months, sexual maturity is gained at about the first birthday, the average life expectancy is about 7 years. Main enemies of small jackals are predators and birds of prey, for adults leopards.


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