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JACKAL

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JACKAL

It belongs to the canine family and can be found in Europe (mostly the Balkans), in Asia and Africa. It is a small mammal that, despite its ominous reputation, feeds of plants and fruit. The other half of its diet is covered by carrion and small animals such as amphibians, fish, snails, mice, rabbits, insects, birds, but also sheep and goats. The jackal is not only mentioned in the Greek mythology, but it also had an important role in Ancient Egypt! In Greece, estimations show that the jackal population does not exceed the number of 1.500 animals. These are limited to isolated populations in eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Halkidiki, the coastal area of Fokida, Peloponnese, Samos, and small groups in Kerkini and Axios. The jackal has been intensely hunted during the period between 1974 – 1980, when over 7.000 animals were killed according to official data.

JACKAL

  • A crucial reason causing the dramatic reduction of the jackal population is hunting. The jackal is the only medium-sized mammal whose number has suffered such a rapid decline in Greece in the recent years.
  • However, other factors contributing to that are the destruction of its natural habitat due to fires and other anthropogenic interventions.

JACKAL

  • As a predator, it is an opportunistic animal because it prefers food of anthropogenic sources such as garbage with food remnants or dead animals.
  • Until 1900 the jackal was included in the harmful species list.
  • It acts as a “purifier” in nature, because it preys on rodents and animals that damage crops. It also reduces the organic waste and garbage, and consumes dead animals thus preventing disease transmission.
  • As its nest it uses natural holes between rocks or even nests of other animals!
  • It has very good hearing and smell, which help it in spotting small game.
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