Thursday, December 9, 2021

Golden jackal vagrant was sighted in Tuscany, Italy

The golden jackal on the way to Rome


Rome, 7 December 2021 – Unstoppable, the journey of the golden jackal in Italy.

"The Canis aureus left on a distant day dal Gange, after 40 years in our country he arrived in Tuscany. The one of Montemurlo (Prato) it’s just the latest report. The ‘street sweeper’ who eats everything is ‘undermining’ his most direct opponent, the wolf."

Text Source: here, Italy24News

Video Source: here La Repubblica

"How many are and where

But how many are the specimens of this protected species? The Quaderni of the Civic Museum of Natural history of Ferrara have just published a study photographing the presence of the golden jackal with us. At the end of September, write Luca Lapini, Stefano Pecorella, Mauro Ferri and Marta Villa, “the species is currently widespread throughout northern Italy, at least as far south as the Province of Ravenna. It is estimated that they are now present in this vast area of ​​the Italian Peninsula 196-250 specimens divided into at least 37-47 territorial reproductive groups “. Then the sighting of Monemurlo was added. So today the canis aureus is lord in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany.

The cities But our jackal does not disdain cities. From Udine to Venice, from Osoppo to Pordenone, from Trieste to Gorizia, from Modena to Parma a Reggio Emilia, “looking for poultry and household waste often collected around public landfills or ecological pitches, which he constantly frequents also to catch rats “(again from the Notebooks). Jackals and wolves
In common they have a passion for chicken coops. End. “We have the feeling that the presence of wolves can only slow expansion of the golden jackal. But evidently, they manage to coexist, at least at low densities – this is the analysis of Lapini, zoologist -. We are witnessing an unprecedented scenario. The beginning of the expansion of the Canis aureus was guaranteed by the killing of the Balkan wolves, reduced to the light in the mid-1950s. Now the expansion is very pronounced, mainly due to the fact that this is a scavenger animal, which finds the main source of resources in man “. And how is he distinguished from the wolf, with whom he continues to be habitually confused?” The most characteristic trait – warns the zoologist – is the white-collar at the base of the neck “.

Protected species

The law 157 of 1992, as the Tolmezzo Forestry, also protects this species. Anyone who kills or captures a specimen risks arrest for two to eight months or a fine from 774 a 2.065 euro. What do they eat
The reputation of scavengers is well deserved. Confirmed by autopsies. Again from the Notebooks of the Ferrara museum: “Whole pieces have been found in various gastric tracts bags of polyethylene used for the delivery of household waste to ecological pitches – swallowed with the entire content, edible or not (leather, cigarette butts, electric wires, etc.) – pieces of plastic, rubber “. The response for the man is without appeal. “We are wasteful”, Lapini’s synthesis."


The reproduction of the golden jackal has been demonstrated in Germany

The territorial behavior of the golden jackal has been demonstrated in Germany by genetic studies

Letter from Felix Böcker, M.Sc.

FVA Wildlife Institute, Freiburg

GOJAGE representative in Germany

"We got pictures from a photographer ... I checked the area to confirm the origin... I took my dog with me and she found 4 scats. I installed some camera traps as well. The cameras confirmed the cub. The genetic analysis of all scats resulted in jackal as well. In two of the four scats, the genotyping was successful as well and we identified two animals. A few days later we took genetic samples from a dead sheep (still dead for several days, thus proof for the use of the body but not for being killed) which showed another specimen. Last week my dog found another scat over there which resulted in the fourth specimen. We now have at least 4 jackals and three of them seem to be the pubs of the fourth animal, which is the father (genetically)."

This is a brief resume of what occurred from the 1st of October until the 26th of November 2021.

As presented in a note by the Ministry of Environment (here).

Friday, October 8, 2021

Golden jackal population genetic structure in Slovenia

Golden jackal in Slovenia

GOJAGE Journal Club

by Ovidiu Banea

A very interesting study describing the genetic structure of the golden jackal population in Slovenia was performed by Astrid Vik Stronen, Kristijan Tomljanović, Hubert Potočnik, and other researchers from Hungary, Austria, Croatia, and Serbia. It was published recently in Global Ecology and Conservation (Source: here). 

Tissue samples were collected from Slovenia (n =48), Croatia (n =53), Serbia (n =29), and Hungary (n =22) over the past 15 years. Thirteen samples from Slovenia were analysed from saliva.

It was found that a possible origin of recent jackal dispersion in Slovenia corresponds to sources from Serbia and Hungary and not to the Dalmatian cluster as it was hypothesized by the authors. Some results suggested a third cluster centered in northern Hungary.

The study is crucial to understand the golden jackal population movement pattern in Central Europe and new data from the Eastern countries would be of great interest to further explore the species biogeography in Europe. 

Authors: "However, investigation of samples collected south and east of our study area will be required to obtain a better picture of gene flow within the Balkans and beyond, including the Caucasus (Shakarashvili et al., 2020), and can help determine the main routes of jackal range expansion across Europe."

Source: Stronen et al, 2021: Golden jackal genetic structure from analyses in STRUCTURE for K =3 population clusters. The individual probability of assignment to a given population cluster (qi-values) is shown with pie charts placed at the sampling location of each jackal.  

Source: Stronen et al, 2021

Friday, April 9, 2021

Bioacoustic Monitoring in Romania, Golden jackal survey

Golden Jackal in Romania, holistic approach in specific ecological systems located in hunting terrains and the Danube Delta

BMR 2021, pilot action

by Ovidiu C. Banea

Between the 31st of March 2021 and the 5th of April 2021 took place in Romania bioacoustic monitoring research, BMR2021 in ecological systems specific to golden jackals located in two hunting terrains from western and eastern parts of Romania (FV 2 Cheglevici, Timis county and FV 28 Gura Dobrogei, Constanta county) and in two critical areas in Danube Delta (Caraorman and Letea maritime levees) where the density is controlled regularly by Crispus NGO Sibiu.

Credit: RoHilac 2021 © Ovidiu C. Banea & Cosmin A. Țâru

Photos in detail: Carlo Galliani and Janesz Tarman

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Intalnire de lucru la Ministerul Mediului Apelor si Padurilor

Letea 4 aprilie 2021, video credit: Ovidiu C. Banea si Cosmin A. Țâru

Initiativa de proiect RoHilac 2021-2024 (Aici)


Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Jackal from Rome crossed the Arctic Circle, 70° North. Welcome to Norway!

First C2-C3 record of a Golden Jackal (Canis aureus, L1758) in Norway 

by Ovidiu C. Banea


Announcement came from NRK News (here), via Morten Kure Kattenhøj from Denmark On 14th of July 2020 a wild canid was photo trapped in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway. 

Initially, the Norwegian Environmental Protection Agency (SNO) in Lakselv was looking for a Racoon dog in the area. "It took some time to confirm that it was a golden jackal. Now we are also trying to get DNA from it" said the local predator contact in Lakselv, Tore Kåven. Due to winter and bad weather, Kåven has not actively searched for the golden jackal. But the sound, it is unique, he says.

Erik Lund, senior adviser, game section, Norwegian Environment Agency

Senior adviser in the Norwegian Environment Agency, Erik Lund, received the information about the golden jackal only two days ago (23rd of February 2021). Lund said that you never cease to be surprised (NRK News).

Senior researcher John Linnell at the Norwegian Institute for Natural History (NINA) declared for NRK News that the observation of a completely new species up in Finnmark is spectacular. "It does not happen often. And it is extra special when it comes to a species that we never imagined would become part of the Norwegian fauna"

John Linnell at the Norwegian Institute for Natural History (NINA)


This record remains a C2-C3 evidence (GOJAGE Criteria, Hatlauf et al, 2016). The area where the jackal was observed in Norway it seems as a suitable habitat.

Lakselv is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the municipality Porsanger. Here is the world's northernmost pine forest (Porsanger climate). Its protection is therefore one of the major objectives of Stabbursdalen National Park. 

Stabbursdalen (source) is the most northernly habitat for many species, including black grouse and osprey, and wetlands are important breeding ground, especially for ducks. Old hollow pine trees provide good nesting places for the goldeneye and goosander. Along the river, willow and sedge, with pine woodland behind, support a rich bird life. 

Porsanger (source) is an area of rich and varied bird fauna. Here one can find such species as Pine Grosbeak. Away from the woodlands, it is the surrounding wetlands that have the greatest diversity. During spring, thousands of Red Knots stop to rest and feed along the shores of Porsangerfjord.

                            Photo: Tore Kåven

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

ALERT GOJAGE: Golden Jackal extermination harvest quotas in Romania

Golden Jackal ALERT in Romania! The "last bullet" is giving jackals an opportunity.

The lethal management and increased control rates are not sufficient to control the golden jackal population size in Romania. Despite increased 65% and 60% control rates the stock assessment increased by 22% during the last hunting season (2019-2020)

During the last week the Ecology Department of NGO Crispus Sibiu Romania started a campaign to make public the difficult management of the golden jackal species in Romania, mostly in the last two hunting seasons when the Romanian Game Management Authority approved harvest quotas (control rate) of 81% and 80%. During the hunting season 2019-2020 a total number of 9.474 jackals were removed.

In Romania, during the last two hunting seasons there is an approved harvest quota of more than 80% from the Stock Assessment.

Proposed and approved Harvest Quota

Realized Quota "Habitats Directive" species of interest Mammals Annex Va
Council Directive 92/43/EEC: Chamois and Golden Jackal Control Rates in Romania

MODEL ROMANIA: Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes, L.1758) and Golden Jackal (Canis aureus, L.1758) Stock Assessment and Hunting Bag dynamics 2006-2019

Since harvest quotas was lifted to 80% in 2018, the jackals showed first a decreased population growth at 9% (2018-2019) when a pressure of 65% control rate was realized and an increased growing with 22% when the control rate was 60% and 9.747 jackals were harvested.

Golden jackal population dynamics related to management measures in Romania

Game species hunting bag data in Romania 2014-2020

Hilac (Canis aureus moreoticus, I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1836), 
Dolj County Romania, February 2021
Photo: Tea Oaches

Read about the full one week campaign!

The last episode (number 5) includes first "International Colloquium regarding European Concerns on jackal population ecology" held in Romania, 23rd of October 2011.

  1. Episode Golden jackal aggressive hunting and poaching in Romania (Aggressive Hunting)
  2. Episode Vulpea si hilacul in Austria, Ungaria, Romania si Bulgaria (Red Foxes and Jackals)
  3. Episode Ce mananca hilacul si dece nu mai au valoare trofeele (A fur costs 150 EUR)
  4. Episode Alerta de Mediu Crispus NGO Sibiu Romania (Environmental Alert)
  5. Episode Letal Management and conservation questions in Romania ("Jackal died", "Hilacul was born")

Ecology Department of Crispus NGO Sibiu Romania

Contact email: crispusngosibiu(at)

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Golden Jackal: Legal Framework 2021 applicable to EU


The Jackal is NOT an Invasive Alien Species

The Golden jackal Canis aureus moreoticus is a COMMUNITY INTEREST SPECIES  same like chamois Rupicapra rupicapra

Jackal in Danube Delta, Romania Photo: Carlo Galliani

The golden jackal (​Canis aureus) is a ​Community Interest species​ ("Habitats Directive"92/43/EEC) listed in Annex Va together with pine marten (​Martes martes​), European polecat (Mustela putorius​) and chamois (​Rupicapra rupicapra​). Monitoring of conservation status is an obligation arising from Article 11 of the Habitats Directive for all habitats (as listed in Annex I) and ​species​ (as listed in ​Annex​ II, IV and ​V​) of Community interest.

Consequently, this provision is not restricted to Natura 2000 sites and data need to be collected both in and outside the Natura 2000 network to achieve a full appreciation of the conservation status.

The main results of this monitoring need to be reported to the Commission every six years according to Article 17 of the Directive. Article 14 places a requirement for further surveillance of exploited species of flora and fauna listed in Annex V where necessary. Only after monitoring and scientific reports to the Commission, management measures can be assessed. When management measures are applied in case of ​Community Interest species ​like the golden jackal or chamois a series of hunting methods should be avoided. These hunting methods which are ​prohibited are listed in the Annex VI of the "Habitats Directive" 92/43/EEC. 

GOJAGE posted the work A European Concern? Genetic Structure and Expansion of Golden Jackals (Canis aureus) in Europe and the Caucasus written by Rutkowski R et al in 2015 and published in PLoS ONE which confirms the natural spreading of jackals removing suspicions of being of allochthonous origin in the new successful settlement of natural areas from Estonia. The authors suggest developing cross-boundary strategies for management and documents like those developed for Europe’s other large carnivores.

Based in this Original Article, the EU published a report on their weekly Science for Environment Policy News Alert, Issue 443, 21 January 2016 in which explained the legal situation and the reasons to do not consider jackals an invasive alien species.


In June 2015, in Biodiversity and Conservation Journal, in original paper Legal implications of range expansions in a terrestrial carnivore: the case of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Europe (here), the authors Arie Trouwborst, Miha Krofel & John D. C. Linnell addressed specific questions regarding the consideration of the golden jackal as classified an (invasive) alien species in countries where it did not formerly occur.  They showed that current international legal obligations limit the freedom of countries to decide how they wish to deal with newly arriving golden jackals. 

Later on, in July 2015, John D.C. Linnell synthesized and resumed these legal implications in a note of  LCIE Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe.

The authors of Legal implications of range expansions in a terrestrial carnivore: the case of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Europe. Biodivers Conserv 24, 2593–2610 (2015).
Arie Trouwborst

Miha Krofel

John Linnell

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Jackal from Rome on the way to Stockholm

 The Lady Wolf from Sweden is waiting the Jackal from Rome

by Ovidiu C. Banea and Alex Gridan


Golden Jackal in Danube Delta 2013, Photo: Carlo Galliani 

Wolves in Sweden: HERE

Northern latitudes are now naturally colonized by the European golden jackal. In Denmark and Finland there were individual sightings without known survival or reproductive family groups. According to an informed note to GOJAGE in 2013, after the W Estonia, Baltica wildlife winter survey when we assumed a reproductive population cluster, have been growing since 2011 when locals started to here spontaneous howling, Professor Nikolai Spassov from NHM in Sofia Bulgaria stated that the golden jackal species would not survive in the boreal biogeographical region without the help and the intervention of humans. There is a risk and limitations of a single indirect method for golden jackal species monitoring in new natural areas. Species monitoring and complementary methodology is needed in Sweden to confirm a possible record of a new mammal species at such latitudes.

On 12th of February 2021 jackal possible footprints and track appeared in the region of Grimsö Wildlife Research Station (wildlife management, ecology and hunting) from Örebro County in Sweden. The photographs were analyzed by two Romanian GOJAGE members, Ovidiu Banea and Cristian Remus Papp and by Adrian Gridan from National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Dracea” (I.N.C.D.S.) Brasov, Romania. The uploaded pictures might  show prints of jackal but without additional indirect or direct methods this observation remains C4 - No evidence (GOJAGE Expert Criteria) or C2 - Weak evidence (SCALP modified, see in Hatlauf et al, 2016).

Source: AICI
The Lady Wolf, Photo: Rick Heeres, Nov 2019

Canid footprints, Photo: Rick Heeres, Dec 2020

After several interpretations and internal discussions, GOJAGE members are looking to perform a wildlife survey in a natural area of Northern Sweden. The tracks and snowy footprints are to be trained and guided within the Informal Group.

First golden jackal was discovered at the boreal biogeographic region in 2013, in West Estonia, Matsalu National Park, a wetland of 3000 ha of reeds in the Delta of Kasari River where are nesting 15.000 pairs of birds. Nearby it is a hunting terrain. These are the places where it can happen again a surprise like that from 2013.

The arrival of a golden jackal to Sweden is suspected to follow the same dispersal route like Racoon Dog, which first was spotted in Finland (1935) and Sweden (1945) before arriving to Central Europe. Technical data for new establishment is presented for Denmark Lille Vildmose wetland (OC Banea and F Böcker, 2017) and What about Sweden? (OC Banea, 2015).

Track in Sweden, near a wildlife research station at Grimso
Probable Wolf from Sweden
Photo Source: Here

Track in Romania, Photo: Cristian Remus Papp
Probable Wolf from Romania

Monday, January 11, 2021

All roads lead to Rome: The European Golden jackal crossed the Po River

Golden Jackal informal Group Europe (GOJAGE)

GOJAGE E-bulletin, 11th of January 2021

The story of the golden jackal and the River Po

All roads lead to Rome

Report by Luca Lapini (Italy) and Ovidiu C. Banea (Romania) 

A "wolf" was video recorded and presented via CorriereTV on the 1st of December 2020 in the parking area of Barilla Pedrignano, 40 km from Parma, Italy. This parking area is located near the E35 road between Milan and Bologna, on the southern (right) Po riverbed. On 8th of January 2021 a bioacoustic monitoring with GOJAGE protocol was performed by Luca Lapini near the wild canid observation and golden jackal specific howling were obtained. According to the scientific criteria and known species behavior these observations are consistent with territorial behavior or reproductive golden jackal groups.

Previously, on 6th of June 2017 we reported another alive jackal record in GOJAGE Letters after a golden jackal was video recorded near Mirandola (Modena region) by the field ornithologist Rafaelle Gemmato. Several consequent fieldwork and research was negative to prove the territorial behavior, at that time.

The record of the first territorial reproductive golden jackal species group on the southern part of the River Po induces an urgent action of collaborative work and assessment of the suitable habitat for the species which might spread to the Central and Southern Italy.

Luca Lapini (Italy) 

Italy: First ascertained reproduction of the European golden jackal South to the Po River

by Luca Lapini

Co-Founder GOJAGE
Zoologist, Dr in Natural Sciences
Zoology Section of the Frulian Natural History Museum of Udine

The European golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoticus) has been recorded in NE Italy first in 1984 (S. Vito di Cadore, Belluno Province). In 1985 it breeds near Udine (Friuli Venezia Giulia), after beginning a great expansion in whole Italy. At present it is widespread in whole north eastern Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige) with about 35 reproductive breeding groups (about 180-190 specimens) distributed from the sea level up to 1900 m a.s.l. 

Single dispersal youngs have been recorded also in Piedmont (2020), Lombardy (2017-2020) and Emilia Romagna (2017-2020). Up to now, anyway, the species has never reproduced South to the Po River. The recent segnalation of a single male around to a famous food farm of Parma Province (Emilia Romagna Region) has stimulated two bio-acoustic surveys to verify its local reproductive status, conducted by L. Lapini (Friulian Natural History Museum of Udine), P. Fedele (Forestry Services of the Italian Carabinieri Army), F. Nonnis Marzano (Parma University) and E. Fior (Ente Parchi del Ducato dell’Emilia Occidentale). The results of the standard GOJAGE bio-acoustic survey performed on January, 8th, 2021 gathered positive results, confirming the presence of a first reproductive group of Canis aureus South to the Po River. 

This statement is in agreement with various interesting phone-video recording taken from various agents in the night of private surveillance Service (IVRI) of the same famous feed farm. The reproductive group, anyway, dwells some kilometres far from this big feed farm, whose kind cooperation was essential to obtain certainty. A good example of cooperation between private citizen and public Administration in the protection of wildlife. 

Canis aureus in Italy is totally protected by National Law 157/1992, and in Europe by Habitat EU Directive 92/43 CEE (V Appendix). The new breeding group of golden jackal opens new interesting perspectives to the colonization of Central and southern Italy by Canis aureus.