Thursday, September 5, 2013

OLBIA 2013, Wildlife Survey in jackal ecological systems Ukraine

Jackal survey in wetlands of Ukraine, 18-24 September 2013 (here).

Main objectives:
1) Suitable insight on jackal distribution in wetlands of Northern Black Sea Coast near Dnieper River and in NW Ukraine, West Polesia. Olbia 2013 team proposed two fieldwork together with Ukrainian Environmental Authority and Zoologists with the aim to find possible new territorial reproductive groups in Ukraine using bioacoustic "Giannatos" monitoring technique.

2) Enforcing Wetland Mammal Specialists Network in Ukraine and improve GOJAGE membership with members of Ukrainian and Belarusian zoologists and Environmental Ecologists, specialists and experts of large carnivores and medium sized carnivores typical to wetlands and jackal specific ecological systems.

by O Banea & G Giannatos

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wildlife Survey in West Belarus

On mid September 2013 will take place wildlife survey in ecological systems in West Polesia, on wetlands near Pulemenske Lake West Belarus, to check if possible clusters of the golden jackal exists in those habitats. This survey pretends to demonstrate that the one jackal specimen removal of January 2012 is not a casual event and that those habitats are an intermediate station of jackal movements to Neman or Zapadnaya River Basins and Northern Baltic Sea Coast (e.g. Estonia), where in winter 2013 and this summer 2 jackal specimens were killed (see full report here).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

La longue marche du chacal doré

As we published few months ago,
La Liberté pointed again:

Jackals in Switzerland
La longue marche du chacal doré (here) La LIBERTÉ PDF

 (Copyrighted Lapini & Banea 2013, modified after Arnold 2011)

Rhone River

We believe that soon or later the jackal will enter in France, on Rhone River catchment following the river until La Camargue, the home to more than 400 species of birds, including flamingo.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

White-tailed Eagle in Jackal Ecological Network

Vanishing Vultures in Indian Peninsula, Jackal with.. relation to look in Europe

First Vulture Restaurant (wildlife observatory) was opened in Romania. In this scene appeared the golden jackal. One can understand, easily, the competition between both scavengers on local level. If we look to larger scale and if we try to see the scarcity of vulture populations, maybe we understand the increasing population trend of other competitors as jackal or feral (stray) dogs.

Munir Virani talks in Nairobi TED Talks on May 2012 (here) about species protection activities and the importance of the vulture's ecology. The Eolian Parks negative impact on bird's population is discussed, too.

After Network 2013, Crispus and Yoluka NGOs Summer Survey in RAMSAR Units SE Romania (see report here), we must include another species into the jackal ecological network, in this case with horizontally relations, the vulture.

White-tailed Eagle in Danube Delta (Source: Skua Nature and Ultima Frontiera Touristic Complex)

Haliaeetus albicilla IUCN Category and (2012) Digital Distribution Map

Ecology, Threats and Conservation of the White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla 

BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Haliaeetus albicilla

The species requires large and open expanses of lake, coast or river valley, within the boreal, temperate and tundra zones, nearby to undisturbed cliffs or open stands of large, old-growth trees for nesting. Its food is vertebrates (fish, mammals and especially birds), from marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. It is mainly migratory in the north and east of its breeding range, but sedentary elsewhere.

Threats that affect this species include loss and degradation of wetlands, human disturbance and persecution, environmental pollution, collision with wind generators (Krone and Scharnweber 2003), and indiscriminate use of poisons. Modern forestry methods reduce the availability of suitable nesting habitat. Although some losses may be taking place in Asian Russia owing to increased logging and oil industry development, these are outweighed by increases in Europe.

Conservation actions under-way
CITES Appendix I and II. CMS Appendix I and II.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Network 2013

Between 17th-21st of July 2013 took place summer survey in jackal habitat in SE Romania.
Full story in GOJAGE e-Bulletin and Ecology Department of Crispus NGO Sibiu website (photo report)

Skua Nature and Ultima Frontiera Hotel & Touristic Complex

Monday, May 27, 2013

Estonian Ministry of Environment considers jackals an alien species in Lääne County

Šaakaleid hakatakse Eesti loodusest eemaldama sel sügisel (Estonian jackals will be removed this fall) in Ilma- ja loodusuudised

Estonia preparing to purge itself from jackals, this fall

Seni on šaakalite kohta kindlaid andmeid Läänemaalt.
Seni on šaakalite kohta kindlaid andmeid Läänemaalt.
Foto: Daniel Garcia/AFP

The Environmental Board (subdivision of Ministry of Environment in Estonia) is busy specifying numbers of jackals in Estonia, as well as their whereabouts, behaviour patterns and options for population growth. The plan is to launch removal of the alien species this fall, already.

(to see entire news click here)

Three jackals have definitely been detected in Estonia, living somewhere around Matsalu. One has been heard, in Hiiumaa – just the voice.
Notices from Saaremaa and Viljandi County, not as yet confirmed by inspections were also reported.

Based on "improbable that jackals could have reached Estonia, from their natural habitat, independently, without any known subpopulations in between", Ministry of the Environment considers the Lääne County jackals an alien species, undesirable for Estonia’s nature.

«It must be admitted that we have to do with a crafty animal, highly inclined to hide, not easy to catch.»
«The need for swift removal of alien species is explained by that as the population acclimatises, it can increase fast.»

«Sustained monitoring will prove if all [jackals] will have been managed to be caught, during the upcoming hunting season.»

«Right now, preliminary inspections are being carried out for specifying numbers of jackals in Estonia, as well as their whereabouts, behaviour patterns and options for population growth. We hope to get these ready by September, as well as the instructions needed.»

The removal of jackals from the nature of Estonia is planned for this fall.

It will be necessary to have a better overview of jackal "intrusism".

10 month-old jackal female collected in Salevere (W. Estonia) at the end of February 2013

At this time it´s supposed that jackal meets criteria of "allochtonous species" or "nonnative", but no criteria of invasive species was demonstrated e.g. exponential growing, or that their presence and/or spread threaten biological diversity!

In Belarus jackal was hunted in January 2012 (see here). This was the most northern point where jackal was reported in Europe before W. Estonia.

Estonian Television tried to present the phenomenon of jackal arrival in West Estonia (here)  and also part of Baltica 2013, jackal survey organized 27-29 of March 2013. During this winter survey, jackal have been photo-trapped and also identified by footprints and bioacoustic monitoring by a team of Matsalu National Park Reserve and one member of GOJAGE.


Sunday, April 21, 2013


BULGARIA, April 16th  2013

After Giorgos Giannatos, Environmental Ecologist, who introduced bio-acoustic stimulation to jackal studies in Europe in 2001, with lot of experience in jackal ecology, expressed on 9.04.2013 his opinion regarding Jackal recent observations in Estonia,  Prof Dr Nikolai Spassov sent us now his opinion about the Estonian situation. 
While Luca Lapini, Ivana Selanec and Ovidiu Banea believe that jackals reached naturally Matsalu National Park Reserve in West Estonia, Giorgos Giannatos believes that jackal were introduced or they exist as allochtonous species.

Prof Dr Nikolai Spassov & Wildlife Specialist, MSc Giorgos Giannatos

Nikolai Spassov, 16.04.2013 
The fact of discovery of a small group of jackals in Estonia is rather strange. This canid is not adapted to vast forests, cold winters and deep snow, which represent main obstacles for the existence of the jackal population in Europe and Central Asia. That’s why its dispersal till these northern latitudes seems abnormal from the point of view of the knowledge of the ecological requirements of the species. From the other hand we need to have in mind  two circumstances: the extreme ability for adaptation of the high mammals as carnivores and especially the canids; the human factor (the creation of additional quantity of food resources, as well as road building  which helps the invasion of impenetrable territories).  The human factor is the cause of the extreme and unique, as it seems, jackal expansion in Europe during the last decades.  The natural penetration of the Jackal in Estonia  seems rather doubtful, but possibly it is  not absolutely improbable as a consequence of the extreme growth of the population in the South-East of Europe and the existing impulses of dispersal  in relation to this.  On the other hand, I don’t believe in the subsistence  of a jackal population in this northern country. If this is a natural colonization the attempt of survival in northern latitudes is condemned to failure... without an additional human help.

Regarding our note about genetics use in Canis genus phylogeny, Nikolai Spassov present the following suplementary data on Canis lupaster taxonomy: It is possible that it is closer to wolves than to jackal, but its morphology demonstrates specific features, and I still believe that it is a separate species.

Entire GOJAGE report and Nikolai Spassov fragment of original paper, about Canis lupaster skull and teeth morphological feature, here. In Bibliography chapter of this page, Spassov N., 1989 The position of jackals in the Canis genus and life-history of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Bulgaria and on the Balkans is avialable.

On the End of the 2013, Ilya F. Acosta Penkov, biologist in Sofia will start jackal ecology study inside his thesis program as PhD candidate with Prof Dr Spassov as thesis director.

Skull morphology and dentition features of Canis aureus 
(Spassov 1989, Lapini 2011)

Monday, April 1, 2013

BALTICA 2013, W Estonia Winter survey

During 27-29.03. 2013 period took place Baltica 2013, in West Estonia.
Full report of how we recorded jackals on the Baltic Sea Coast here.

Who knows if this Red Fox will be a good neighbour to the next jackal puppy...

Baltica 2013 team

First jackal ever photographed in Juniperus scrub habitat at 58` Latitude

We still have a lot of questions,

Ovidiu C. Banea, Environmental Ecologist

Thanks to Kaja Lotman, Peep Mannil, Liisi Laos, Aleksei Lotman, Mr Tonis, Mr Andrus and all team from Matsalu National Park Reserve in Lääne County, West Estonia.

Full report and ecological network suggestions here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

BALTICA 2013, Wildlife Survey in W Estonia

During 27-29th of March, an international team will perform a wildlife survey, Baltica 2013, in western Estonia. The team includes Biologist Peep Männil, Centre of Forest Protection and Silviculture Tartu, Estonia, Biologist Alex Lotman, Environmentalist from Läänemaa county, and Ovidiu Banea, Environmental Ecologist, NGO Crispus Sibiu, Romania. The main purpose of this survey is to evaluate Matsalu National Park Reserve environment in winter conditions. During 2 days survey, the team will try to analyse the ecological network of those systems.
 JETF Wanax II, Summer 2012 and Baltica 2013 Winter Survey Proposal W Estonia

GOJAGE Minor 2013, survey in Turkey and Georgia was delayed due to administrative reasons.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013