AN INDIGENOUS PREDATOR, THE GOLDEN JACKAL (CANIS AUREUS L.1758) SPREADING LIKE AN INVASIVE SPECIES IN HUNGARY

L. SZABO, M. HELTAI, J. LANSZKI, E. SZUCS

Abstract


Golden jackal (Canis aureus Linneaus 1758) was one of the indigenious predators in Hungary. It disappeared from the Hungarian fauna by the ’50s in the last century (1). The first specimen reappeared in the last years of the ’70s (1), then the observations became frequent in the beginning of the ’90. The first breeding pairs were detected near the southern border in the middle of the ’90s and huge populations established mainly in the southern counties. In the same time more and more articles were published about its appearing, and the increasing of its populations in Europe (Slovakia, Romania, Transsylvania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Austria, Italy) (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,). Simultaneously the provable settling down in Hungary, the monitoring of the population status and the spreading of the species has started. The project contains three independent methods: mail questionnaire survey among the Hungarian Game Management Units (GMU), hunting bag datas on the basis of National Game Management Database and fieldworks (collecting proof specimens, acoustic survey). We followed in attention the changing of the hunting bag datas in the last 10 years (1997: 11 specimen, 2005: 140 specimen), the GMUs observed jackal between 1997-2006 (1997:4, 2006:67). Numerous proof specimens (54 carcasses, 8 skins/skulls) were registered in a relatively short period (7 years). Results of the acoustic survey done (2004-2006) in a large research area ( Bács-Kiskun county) verified the continuous presence of the jackal. We studied the population changing by acoustic method in two main distribution areas in Hungary. The population size is eminent in these areas. The highest density that we counted was 13,6 specimen/1000 ha. It is above the highest fox density ever counted in Hungary (13,0 specimen/1000ha). Golden jackal –as a well-monitorable species- has been spreading intensively in Hungary, showing the characteristics of invasive species. Our results show that the only limiting factor in the spreading of the jackal in Hungary is the quality of the habitat (hiding-place and minimal disturbing). The expansion of the jackal is uncontinuous- in contrast to Red fox. In the preferred habitats (core areas) the density of the jackal population can increase relatively high in a very short time.

Keywords


golden jackal; occurrence; monitor; invasive species

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/buasvmcn-asb:64:1-2:2250




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