First-ever golden jackal spotted in the Netherlands

by | Feb 29, 2016 | Biodiversity | 0 comments

On February 19, 2016 a golden jackal (Canis aureus) was observed in the Veluwe, a forest area in the centre of the Netherlands. This first-ever observation of this species in the Netherlands has been done with the help of a camera trap. 

The golden jackal in the Veluwe was “accidentally” recorded with the help of a camera trap during a research project focusing on ungulates, which Alterra currently carries out in cooperation with Wageningen University. The camera images have been presented to some famous jackals experts. These have confirmed the animal is a golden jackal.

In Europe the species is on the rise. Originally, the golden jackal occurs mainly in the Balkans, in Greece and Turkey, the Middle East, and South Asia. In recent years, however, the species has also been found more to the west and north, in countries such as Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland and the Baltic States. The golden jackal has also been spotted in Germany at a number of locations. A report from the area of Frankfurt is closest to the Dutch border.

Also known as the Eurasian golden jackal, common jackal, Asiatic jackal or reed wolf, the golden Jackal is classified by the IUCN as least concern, due to its widespread range in areas with optimum food and shelter. It is a social species, living as breeding pairs with their offspring.

Alterra researcher Edgar van der Grift says nothing is known yet about the origin of the detected animal. “The animal may have arrived in our country by crossing the border, but it is also possible that it is an escaped or illegally released animal. At present we are trying to obtain DNA samples from the animal, such as faeces or hair. This may provide more insight into the origin of this animal.”

Read the full article here (Dutch):

More about the recent expansion of the golden jackal across the European continent:

A European Concern? Genetic Structure and Expansion of Golden Jackals (Canis aureus) in Europe and the Caucasus

Legal implications of range expansions in a terrestrial carnivore: the case of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Europe


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