Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Alture di Polazzo, NE Italy

Jackals in countryside habitat. Gorizia province, Italy

Videos recorded recently in Gorizia show a pair of jackals on 2nd of February 2012 then another specimen on 18th of February 2012. Another individual was registered on 12th of August 2012. The films author,  Bio agriturismo e parco rurale Alture di Polazzo wonders how this group has been established in the area. Countryside and agroturism activity may explain the crowd. Even so, road mortality continue to be a expansion and growth limiting factor of Canis aureus species in these regions. (see L. Lapini et al 2011). To understand better the overview of this situation look on Italian jackals, Gorizia province post uploaded on 10th of Sept 2012.

1) At the beginning of 2012 (2nd of February), one pair of jackals was recorded in the region (1st video); On the 10th of February 2011 a female of 9.7 kg was road killed (see L. Lapini et al 2011); On the 18th of February 2012 one robust specimen was recorded at the same place having the note as female! (2nd video). 
If we track better the record (2nd video), we can see how the protagonist raises his right leg when he marks his territory. We are looking to a male, maybe the same specimen recorded in the area on 29th of March 2012 by our collegue S. Pecorella

2)The supposed young photo-trapped (3rd video) in loc. Alture di Polazzo (Doberdo' del Lago, Gorizia) it was not a young. In that season a young have 4-5 kg. The photo-trapped specimen, on the contrary, is surely a full developed individual, at the end of the summer moult (and for this reason particularly slender). Probably a female, perhaps the same specimen photo-trapped later and before. The last young from this zone, a female of about 11 months, was road killed on 10 February 2011 (see Lapini et al., 2011).

To conclude this hypothesis we have to admit the limits of phototrapping method:
- We cannot do biometry, body measurement and during IR-night condition sex differentiation being also very difficult;
In the last two year, anyway, in the same zone one adult male was found dead and a young female was road killed by cars. We don't know if they were effective of the above quoted reproductive group. A genetic mapping of jackal specimens, conducted by Friulian Museum of Natural History in Udine, started in the area, and we hope that DNA analysis could gather further information about their true parental links. 
- The best current estimate for this zone, at present, is 2-5 specimens. 

(Luca Lapini, Ovidiu Banea & Stefano Pecorella)

Monday, September 10, 2012

First golden jackal-proof in Switzerland

Erster Goldschakal-Nachweis in der Schweiz

Miha Krofel
Perhaps you'd be interested - it is now official, first confirmed evidence of jackal in Switzerland recorded during this year's lynx monitoring with phototraps. (KORA news)

During the lynx monitoring in the northwestern Alps last winter by several camera trapping a strange animal has been mapped: similar in coloration and habit of a wolf, but obviously smaller and more compact, too big and too leggy for a fox. After consulting with several specialists it was confirmed that the photos show a golden jackal (Canis aureus). Is still pending final proof in the form of a genetic analysis, but we keep the recordings for the first tangible evidence of a golden jackal in Switzerland.

In Austria and Northeast Italy reproduction of the golden jackal is detected since 2007 . The evidence so far is from the northern German state of Brandenburg.

The animal pictured here was recorded between the 11/27/2011 and the 12/12/2011 by five different camera traps in the cantons of Bern, Fribourg and Waadt. Since then, no further proof was recorded.

Italian jackals, Gorizia Province

Recent identification of a possible reproductive group of golden jackal in Italy

Stefano Pecorella
A recent picture (7.09.2012) of a pair of jackals obtained on Karst (Carso), in the Province of Gorizia. (Photo: Stefano Pecorella). First specimen (part of it) on this special trail is located just above the black line (the bottom picture), the second has bright eyes. Another individual was recorded in may (9.05.2012).
To see more photos and description of habitat follow the link below: 

Luca Lapini
As you know, from the same zone there are a lot of excellent pictures both of jackal and wildcat, together with a lot of samples of both species (road kills, illegally harvested specimens, jackal howling records, etc.).
In this place the presence of the golden jackal was ascertained at least from 1994 to the present (please, see Lapini, 1996 and Lapini et al., 2011). This is surely the oldest Italian reproductive situation, at present constituted by at least two specimens simultaneously present in the wild. A quite realistic jackal-howling estimate suggests that in this zone could be present 2-5 specimens.