Sunday, February 14, 2016

New GOJAGE Expert Criteria for new jackal reports assessment

Assessment of golden jackal species (Canis aureus, L.1758) records in natural areas out of their known historic range
Technical Report: GOJAGE  Criteria and Guidelines

12 of February 2016  GOJAGE e-Bulletin
Jennifer HATLAUF, Ovidiu C. BANEA, Luca LAPINI
2016 © GOJAGE


Golden jackals show an increasing long-distance dispersal from their known historic geographic range into new areas (Rutkowski et al. 2015). Only in the last years, single golden jackal individuals were reported in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany or Denmark and a survival cluster of 5 territorial groups (Männil 2016, pers. comm.) is monitored in West Estonia. 

The known historic range of the golden jackal species including large parts of Eurasia and Africa was recently reconsidered since the results of new genetic studies suggest that African golden jackals merit recognition as a full species, as they meet the primary defining criterion of a separate and independently evolving metapopulation lineage (Rueness et al. 2011; Gaubert et al. 2012; Koepfli et al. 2015). Accordingly, it was proposed that the common names ‘‘African golden wolf’’ (Canis anthus) and ‘‘Eurasian golden jackal’’ (Canis aureus) be applied to distinguish these taxa, and to distinguish the former from the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis). The African golden wolf is distributed across Africa and includes individuals that have been referred to as Canis lupus lupaster or Canis aureus, sensu lato. Morphologic parallelism of African golden wolves and Eurasian golden jackals may have resulted in their mistaken attribution to a single species (Koepfli et al. 2015)

Over the past two decades evidences northward and westward of the known historic range, mostly the Balkan area, were recorded (Kryštufek et al. 1997; Arnold et al. 2011). The native and naturally colonized range of golden jackals in Europe include now Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey, Caucasus countries, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark. Central and South-East Europe have now a very important role in the golden jackal species conservation since the European or Caucasian golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoticus, I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1835) is known as having its main populations in Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Romania.

The main problem in assessing golden jackal proof in new areas is inexperience due to the novelty and rareness of these situations to this point. This report aims to establish common criteria within European countries and abroad for golden jackal species new records that are reported in areas within naturally colonized range.


Direct and indirect methods used by GOJAGE


Distinction of golden jackal (Canis aureus, L. 1758) evidences   

Friday, February 12, 2016

Master's Thesis from Austria

Master's Thesis 

by Jennifer Hatlauf, 2015

In recent years, the golden jackal (Canis aureus) is gaining attention in Central Europe and increased evidence confirms its distribution, also towards Austria. From the originating countries of the Balkans it expands its area in a natural way (Schwarz, 2013). Previous studies show a large habitat plasticity, which leads to the question whether the golden jackal will be able to find permanently suitable habitat in Austria.
As a result of a literature review this masterthesis presents the summary of identified factors that may play a crucial role in habitat selection of the golden jackal. Despite its generalistic nature, close to its opportunistic choice of food and its adaptability, it is possible to discern trends in its habitat selection: access here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

RoHilac BioStars, applied ecology in jackal specific ecological systems of Romania

RoHilac BioStars        Romania 2016-2020

The "biologic lights" of the night

by Ovidiu C. Banea
Barcelona 9th of February 2016

Age determination, stomach content analysis, parasitology, genetic studies, ecological factors responsible of jackal density studied with bioacoustic monitoring, IR and motion sensor video cameras, dynamic of clusters in target areas will all consitute the holistic approach of jackal ecology and behavior in natural areas from Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, protected natural areas and hunting terrains from Romania during the next 4 years. RoHilac BioStars is a technical plan which will include several projects. Finally, we aim to understand and act better on jackal specific ecological systems using the principles of applied ecology and to contribute to a Conservation Action Plan of jackal species in Romania. (Here full story and photoreport of CERNICA 2016)
Jackal stomach (16 specimens)

Age determination by pulp cavity-tooth width ratio (first used in analyzing the age of a young jackal female together with zoologist Peep Männil in Matsalu National Park, West Estonia during Baltica 2013) and dentine cementum layers counting on 14 jackals (this method and a combination of the former with the layers counting, was first used in jackals by Ovidiu C. Banea on 8th of February 2016) .
The above photo coresponds to three jackal upper canine analysis. The determinated age of the left specimen was estimated at 34 months, in middle the upper canine belongs to a 24 months old jackal and the right upper canine belongs to a 10 months old jackal.

Pulp-cavity/Tooth width ratio in lower right canine (one jackal studied in Estonia by Peep Männil & Ovidiu Banea 2013, O. Banea 2016). The best for analysis as reflected in available literature for other canids is the upper canine. In the analysis was used pulp-cavity/tooth width ratios and cemmentum layers counting for 14 upper canines from legally removed jackals in southern Romania during January 2016.
Team of Cernica, first RoHilac BioStars non-finnanced activity, organized by AGVPS (from left to the right): Prof Dr Călin Gherman (USAMV Cluj-Napoca), DVM Angela M. Ionică (USAMV Cluj-Napoca), Eng Dr Vladimir Talpes (AGVPS), Ecol MSc Ovidiu Banea (Crispus NGO), Eng Dr Neculai Selaru (AGVPS)

A jackal is checked for ocular dirofilariasis by PhD candidate Angela M. Ionică (USAMV Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

Jackal possible ecological factor during winters in South Romania

Age determination by dentine cemmentum layers counting in golden jackal species, method first time used for age determination of jackals on 8th of February 2016. The method will be used within the project to evaluate the structure of population clusters from targeted study areas. This tool together with BAM will help us to determine the years with lower jackal offsprings in order to assess conservation and management plan at local levels.

The technical plan named RoHilac BioStars will be implemented by Ecology Department of Crispus NGO Sibiu (Environmental Ecologist MSc. Ovidiu C-tin Banea, designer of RoHilac BioStars technical plan) together with General Association of Hunters and Sports Fishermen from Romania (GAHSF) and University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca.
Cristian-Remus Papp, during Sistem 2012, jackal habitat autumn wildlife survey, Photo: O. Banea

International golden jackal species experts Dr Duško Ćirović (Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia), Dr Nikolai Spassov (National History Museum, Sofia Bulgaria) and Dr Giorgos Giannatos (Department of Zoology - Marine Biology, School of Biology, University of Athens, Greece) will be involved in this project.

First activity was already performed in base of a cooperation protocol between Ecology Department of Crispus NGO and GAHSF. 17 golden jackals and 4 foxes were analyzed near Bucharest.
Other projects within RoHilac BioStars technical plan will be organized by Crispus NGO and other NGOs or Environmental Board authorities like WWF Romania, ARBDD (DDBRA), etc.

Full story, RoHilac BioStars technical plan disclosure and photoreport of Cernica 2016 first broader activity of jackal ecology assessment together with Eng Dr. Neculai Selaru (AGVPS) and Prof. Dr. Calin Gherman (USAMV Cluj-Napoca) here (aici).