Sunday, November 5, 2023

The secrets of the Golden Jackal Alphabet

The Golden Jackal repertoire

by Ovidiu C. Banea

Golden Jackal talks, vocalizations, and even the "letters of the songs" the species plays during the night are now closer to being known by humans.

Eurasian Golden Jackal
Canis aureus moreoticus (Geoffroy, 1835)
Photo: Ovidiu C. Banea, January 2023

Briefly, the sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid, or solid. Acoustic waves that have frequencies lying between about 20 Hz and 20 kHz, the audio frequency range, elicit an auditory percept in humans. Sound waves above 20 kHz are known as ultrasound and are not audible to humans. Sound waves below 20 Hz are known as infrasound. Different animal species have varying hearing ranges.

Herz is the measure of frequency and 1Hz means 1 cycle/second (time unit).

During the Kerkini Jackal Week meeting, Biologist Uthpala Jayaweera and Professor in Zoology Sampath Seneviratne from the University of Colombo showed the participants sonograms of the Sri Lankan Golden Jackal subspecies - Canis aureus naria (Wroughton, 1916) recorded howls and suggested that the "alphabet" has 23 syllables forming 5 vocalization types.

Sri Lankan Golden Jackal
Canis aureus naria (Wroughton, 1916)
Photo: Charles J. Sharp, February 2022

But one of the most interesting aspects is that some of the Golden Jackal emitted sounds are perceived by us with a range between 500 and 2500 Hz. Even more, there are patterns of "singing jackals" that can be reproduced by humans.
by Biologist Uthpala Jataweera

Janka Durova (Slovakia), Sampath Seneviratne (Sri Lanka), 
Uthpala Jataweera (Sri Lanka), and Ovidiu C. Banea (Romania)
at Kerkini village, Greece (28.10.2023)
After a brief introduction to the spectral analysis of golden jackals sustained by Prof Seneviratne

Professor in zoology Sampath Seneviratne

Sonograms of the golden jackals were studied in Europe by Laszlo Szabo from Hungary (2009-2011), and by sound Engineer Carlo Comazzi (2015) in Italy. 

Source: Carlo Comazzi, Silvana Mattiello, Olivier Friard, Stefano Filacorda & Marco Gamba (2016): Acoustic monitoring of golden jackals in Europe: setting the frame for future analyses, Bioacoustics, DOI: 10.1080/09524622.2016.1152564

In Romania, the first sonograms were analyzed by Carlo Comazzi using recordings from "Danubius Jackal Camp" 2017, a wildlife survey organized in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.

Spectral analysis of wild canid chorus was also used in wolves and the technique was suggested as an important tool complementary to other methods during the monitoring of the species. "Compared with other monitoring techniques (i.e., genetic analysis), bioacoustic analysis requires widely available informatics tools (i.e., sound recording set of devices and sound analysis software) and a low budget. Information obtained by means of chorus analysis can also be combined with that provided by other techniques. Moreover, howls can be recorded and stored in an audio file format with a good resolution (i.e. in “Wave” format), thus representing a useful tool for future listening and investigations, which can be countlessly employed without risks of time deterioration." Passilongo et al, 2015.

Wolves chorus spectral analysis (sonograms), Passilongo et al, 2015.

Spectral analyses of golden jackal howlings: 24th of October - 4th of November 2023

Wilde canids "singing" at Kerkini Lake

Red fox and Golden Jackal yip-howl ending of a specific howl followed by new linear vocalization

One or two golden jackal individuals chorus

Recording of a Golden Jackal territorial group. The low-frequency trace indicated a bigger size specimen. In the area wolves are present.

Two human voices imitating a jackal chorus

Comparative analysis between Golden Jackal howlings and human voices imitating the jackals

Hunting and spectral analysis of Golden Jackal chorus

The spectral analysis of wild canids shows different patterns if golden jackals are aggressively hunted with shot individuals almost every day, how occurred in the past at a waste dump in Trpanj (Croatia), where jackals replied from different angles at the same time during 2 minutes, with ununiform howlings and disorganized pattern. When there is NO Hunting or poaching, the Golden Jackal communicating behavior and territorial responses are organized with a consequent reply from every group with a total average of 27-35 seconds duration / each jackal chorus,

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Golden Jackals, Gray Wolves and Red Fox at Kerkini Lake National Park in Greece

Canis aureus, Canis lupus, and Vulpes vulpes together at Lake Kerkini National Park, Greece

23.10.2023-29.10.2023 Golden Jackal Week Workshop

by Ovidiu C. Banea

The mixture of individual patterns of vocalizations in wild canids is shown in the above picture. Note the overlapping noise with low frequency at the second 30´.

First sonogram realized with howls from Kerkini Lake NP by Carlo Comazzi Italy

Single Golden Jackal individual, call registered in 2010 in Slovenia by Miha Krofel

Spectral acoustics of a single jackal howling with specific yip-howl ending

Sonogram recorded at Kerkini Lake NP in which is visible the group transfer in a friendly environment, without hunting pressure.

After the barks (possibly Red fox barking at 700 Hz) together with a yip-howl-specific ending (1200-1300 Hz) a lower-frequency sound (500 Hz) is also recorded.

Participants at Kerkini Lake, Golden Jackal Week


Saturday, October 28, 2023

"Kerkini Holistic Model" in golden jackal monitoring



From 23 to 28 October 2023, the Kerkini Golden Jackal Week within the CANIS PROJECT took place at Kerkini Lake in Greece and it was organized by scientists from Kerkini National Park Administration and scientists from Thessaloniki University

Director of the event

Theodoros Kominos
BSc Zoology - Ecology, MSc Conservation Biology
PhD Candidate in Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

by Ovidiu Banea

Crispus NGO Sibiu ROMANIA presented a work entitled:

"Applied ecology and Sustainable monitoring of the golden jackal-specific ecological systems with bioacoustic and video trapping methods. Case study: Danube Delta" PPT HERE.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Milano Conference by Eliante and GOJAGE

Un cane dorato si aggira per l’Europa 

Larynx of the Golden Jackal, Estonia 28.03.2013

Photo: Tea Oacheș

by Eliante (news)


Un’iniziativa di studio e divulgazione a Milano sull’espansione dello Sciacallo dorato.

27 maggio 2023, ore 17:00
Via San Vittore 49, Milano
Ingresso libero

Un nuovo carnivoro si affaccia in Italia e in Europa, grazie ad un processo di espansione del tutto naturale: si tratta dello Sciacallo dorato (Canis aureus), che grazie alle sue notevoli capacità di adattamento sta colonizzando nuove aree ad una velocità davvero sorprendente.
Probabilmente, nei prossimi anni sentiremo parlare sempre più spesso di questa specie, per questo, Eliante ha organizzato un’iniziativa di studio e divulgazione rivolta sia a specialisti che al grande pubblico, che prevede la realizzazione di un opuscolo informativo e di un convegno. In quest’ultimo, biologi, zoologi e antropologi offriranno una prospettiva sulle caratteristiche di questa specie, sulla sua espansione in Italia e in Europa, e sugli aspetti sociali e culturali ad essa legati.

Presentation Maria Benciolini, Eliante Italia 

Presentation Luca Lapini, GOJAGE Italia

Presentation Ovidiu C. Banea, GOJAGE Romania

Mauro Belardi moderated last Saturday a conference on Golden Jackal distribution in Italy and Europe where anthropologist Maria Benciolini (Eliante), zoologist Luca Lapini (NHM Udine), and environmental ecologist Ovidiu Banea (Crispus NGO Sibiu) discussed on public attitude and perception of people towards golden jackal, the distribution of #Canisaureus in Europe and Italy, and evolution of population dynamic of the golden jackal in our regions.
In the end, two models of conservation were discussed from the perspective of total culling with harvest quotas overpassing 85% in Romania, which drives more and more densities and stock assessment (This year in Romania are planned to be killed 24.000 specimens from 28.000 which are alive) and from the perspective of total conservation as in Italy, where the species is fully protected by Law 92 (This year in Italy the Golden Jackal reached a total number of less than 300-350 individuals).

First Golden Jackal was shot in Italy in 1984, and one-year later reproduction was proven, while in Romania, the first reproduction of the last dispersion was proved at Negureni, in South Dobrudja in the same year (1984).

Why the evolution of the Golden Jackal population is so different in these two countries remains unknown, but one thing came to light, now: The aggressive attitude and hunting are discussable for their effectiveness while the conservation of territorial groups with dominant pairs seems to show constant densities at the local level.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Golden jackal and public awareness in Italy and Romania

New events on the horizon after the 3rd International Jackal Symposium in Gödöllő, Hungary (here) and the World Jackal Day in Austria (here)

Since 1984 when jackals were reported in Italy and Romania, their population reached, officially, a total number of 28.871 individuals in Romania while the Italian population is less than 800-1.200 individuals.

Why? Which is the difference?

Save the dates! 

Cluj-Napoca (RO), Carbonera TV (IT), Milan MI (IT)

Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Romania, 8th of May 2023, 16:30H The Institute of Biological Research, Republicii Street, Nr 48 (Program here).

Secția de Ecologie a ONG Crispus Sibiu, WWF România, Institutul de Cercetări Biologice Cluj-Napoca și ACDB Vrancea cu sprijinul Facultății de Biologie și Geologie, Secția Ecologie Sistemică și Conservare (Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai) și al Facultății de Medicină Veterinară (Universitatea de Științe Agricole și Medicină Veterinară Cluj-Napoca) organizează:



“Șacalul auriu – parazitologie, monitorizare și management în România”

“The Golden Jackal in Romania – parasitology, monitoring and lethal management.”

RO: Reuniunea va avea loc la Sediul Institutului de Cercetări Biologice, Strada Republicii Nr 48, Cod Postal 400015, în ziua de 8 mai 2023 la ora 16:30, Locuri limitate. Înscrieri de alte prezentări, cu durată de maxim 10 minute, se primesc până la data de 4 mai prin email.

EN: The meeting takes place at The Institute of Biological Research (Address: Republicii Street 48, Cluj-Napoca, Romania). Other presentations (no more than 10 minutes) can be submitted until Thursday, 4th of May 2023 to the following email addresses: crispusngosibiu(at) or cpapp(at) Limited places.

Responsabili eveniment: Ovidiu-Constantin Banea (Crispus Sibiu) și Cristian-Remus Papp (ICB, UBB, WWF) Foto: Alexandra Ion

Photo: Alexandra Ion

Carbonera, Veneto Region, Italy, 12th of May 2023, 20:30H Centro Sociale "Aldo Moro", Piazza Fabris, Nr 36

"Venerdì 12 maggio 2023, ore 20:30 si svolgerà la conferenza "Sciacallo dorato. Una possibile convivenza" presso il Centro Sociale "Aldo Moro" a Carbonera. Relatori dott. Luca Lapini, zoologo, Sezione Zoologica del Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale di Udine e dott. Luca Zanchettin, tecnico ed educatore ambientale presso l'Associazione Naturalistica Lorenzoni."

Milano, Lombardia, Italy, 27th of May 2023, 17:30H Via San Vittore, Nr 49 (here)

The last pulsation and dispersal of the golden jackal from the known range of the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula started in the 50s and in 1984, the first jackals were recorded in Italy and Romania. 

The fake news and hunters' aggressive attitude against jackals is posing species threats in Central and Eastern European Countries by inducing an erroneous perception to society with such a level that Game Management Authority started to lose control and common sense, elaborating lethal management plans with harvest quotas of more than 80% of the existing population (i.e. Romania). Italy remains a model of human - jackal Cohabitation! In Italy, the golden jackal remains a strictly protected species. The holistic approach to jackal conservation and management includes public awareness. Check ✅ for knowledge and science before management!
Be with us!

Luca Lapini and Ovidiu C. Banea