The golden jackal (Canis aureus), also called common jackal, is a wolf-like canid that is native to Southeast Europe, Central Asia, Western Asia, South Asia, and regions of Southeast Asia. The golden jackal’s coat varies in color from a pale creamy yellow in summer to a dark tawny beige in winter. It is smaller and has shorter legs, a shorter tail, a more elongated torso, a less-prominent forehead, and a narrower and more pointed muzzle than the Arabian wolf. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its widespread distribution and high density in areas with plenty of available food and optimum shelter.
About Golden Jackal:
- The golden jackal, also known as the common jackal, is a medium-sized wolf-like canid.
- Scientific Name: Canis aureus
- They are small compared to their close relatives, wolves, and wild dogs.
- They are widely distributed from North and East Africa to southeastern Europe and South Asia, including Burma.
- They are abundant in valleys and along rivers and their tributaries, canals, lakes, and seashores. But are rare in foothills and low mountains.
- They are quite widespread across India. Right from the Himalayan foothills, down to the Western Ghats, the Golden Jackal has a wide distribution.
- It has long, pointed ears and long hair.
- The coat of the animal is rather coarse and not very long.
- The tail is fluffy and long.
- The coloration of their fur depends on the season of year and region, varying from yellow to pale gold with a brown tip.
- They are monogamous, meaning they mate for life.
- They are opportunistic omnivores that feed on both plants and meat.
- They are territorial animals that hunt in groups. Their groups are known as packs.
- Golden jackals stay nocturnal if they live in an area that humans inhabit. They remain under rocks for shelter during the day and come out at night. However, in other areas, they may be partly diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.
The jackal moults twice a year, in spring and in autumn. In Transcaucasia and Tajikistan, the spring moult begins at the end of winter. If the winter has been warm, the spring moult starts in the middle of February. If the winter has been cold, it begins in the middle of March. The spring moult lasts for 60–65 days; if the animal is sick, it loses only half of its winter fur. The spring moult commences with the head and limbs, extends to the flanks, chest, belly and rump, and ends at the tail. Fur on the underparts is absent. The autumn moult occurs from mid-September with the growth of winter fur; the shedding of the summer fur occurs at the same time. The development of the autumn coat begins with the rump and tail and proceeds to spread to the back, flanks, belly, chest, limbs, and head, achieving full winter fur by the end of November.
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