Have you heard of the Black-Backed Jackal? It’s a canid that is found in the southern and eastern regions of Africa.1 These jackals weigh about 17-25 pounds and are reddish in color with a distinct patch of black fur on their backs.2 They have a thin, pointed face and large, pointy ears.1
While jackals are usually nocturnal, Black-Backed Jackals tend to be more diurnal and so they’re seen more often than other species of jackal.2 Jackals in general like open habitats and are opportunistic hunters. They’ll go after small animals, or work together to take down larger prey. They have also been known to follow large carnivores to eat the carrion leftover from their kills.3
These jackals have a similar role to wolf packs. When they hunt, they’ll take down the weaker members of the group, which helps keep their prey populations healthy and stops the spread of disease.1 Meanwhile, predators to these jackals are usually leopards, hyenas, and eagles. Black-Backed Jackals usually live to be around 9 years old in the wild, but can live to be 16 if they’re in captivity.2
Black-Backed Jackals are monogamous.2 Both mates share responsibility in taking care of the young after they’re born. Older siblings may stick around and help out, too – this also helps them learn how to raise their own offspring when the time comes.1
Overall, the Black-Backed Jackal is considered of Least Concern, according to the IUCN, although they face some conflicts from humans regarding habitat loss and issues with people thinking they’re hunting livestock.1
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All the best,
Chris & the WERC Team