Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Danubius Jackal Camp 2017, Delta Dunarii

by Ovidiu C. Banea

Between 28th of April - 1st of May 2017 will take place Danubius Jackal Camp 2017 in Danube Delta. Here, BAM calling stations installed in 2010-1015 period.

"Ambarcatiunea Laura" in 2015

1st golden jackal 10 months old female specimen, Matsalu Natural Park, West Estonia 2013 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jackals are collared in Serbia

Movements and home range territory studied with use of GPS collars in Serbia

by Duško Ćirović, Aleksandra Penezić
Department of Animal Ecology and Geography, University of Belgrade, Serbia

On 12th of March 2017 GOJAGE Serbia announced that a pair of golden jackals (male and female) were collared at the edge of an urban area of Belgrade. Jackals were collared with GPS collars (GPS/GSM on male, GPS/radio on female) collars. University of Belgrade, Department of Animal Ecology and Geography

Photos credit: Duško Ćirović, Aleksandra Penezić

Photo credit: Duško Ćirović, Aleksandra Penezić

Golden Jackal bio-acoustic monitoring in Denmark

New data on Denmark golden jackal vagrant individuals and the possible existence of a survival cluster in NE Jutland

by Ovidiu C. Banea & Felix Böcker

We present the last species record by Troels Kjær and Henrik Friis from Olympus Danmark and the updated golden jackal species Denmark situation presented by Mogens Trolle, mammalogist of Natural History Museum Denmark (here).
We added the BAM results and questions regarding jackal applied ecology in NE Jutland Denmark in a brief technical report and we published it in e-GOJAGE bulletin.

Lille Vildmose Nature Reserve NE Jutland, Denmark

 Henrik Friis & Troels Kjær, Olympus Denmark

Local map of the reserve

Cattle in the vicinity of Lille Vildmose

The entrance to the fenced reserve

The bridge between the mainland and Copenhagen

golden jackal Specific habitat 1

golden jackal Specific habitat 2

golden jackal specific habitat 3

Master Thesis in Italy, Francesca Nemola: Golden jackal BAM and behavioral analysis in Danube Delta

Acoustic monitoring and Behavioral Analysis of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Danube Delta MScThesis

by Francesca Nemola, MSc


In a context like the European one, where the population of golden jackal (Canis aureus) is increasing, my work is intended to provide starting points for the development of new non-invasive monitoring methods to combine with existing ones, for the census of natural populations. The data for the study were collected in Ultima Frontiera Reserve in Romania. 

The work (HERE) focused on four aspects: 
  • confirm the presence of golden jackals, through induced howling technique; 
  • evaluate the potential for estimating the number of individuals, by counting from sonogram; 
  • evaluate the potential for recognition of species, through semi-automatic techniques for the bio-acoustic analysis; 
  • analyze the behavior of the golden jackal in Romania, in an artificial feeding context. 
Credit: Carlo Comazzi

Data on the presence of jackals were obtained through jackal howling technique; in particular we have seen how individual animals have responded more than groups. These findings have led to the supposition that animals who responded, were animals satellites belonging to a large pack; additional data to test this hypothesis are still needed. Counting the certain minimum number of individuals from the sonogram, was performed on recordings collected in the Reserve, and the resulting estimate was compared with the number of individuals estimated by the operator in the field. It was found that when the number of vocalizing animals was higher than two, counting from sonogram underestimated the number of individuals compared to the estimate in the field. This discrepancy is due to characteristics of howling and to the distance of the animal. For the bio acoustic analysis we have used the first and second howl of several species of jackals and Canis lupus. In particular, two data sets have been processed in order to obtain the dissimilarity index between the different howls through dynamic time warping, one containing the files with the original duration and the other containing the files with standardized duration. On the matrix of the acoustic distances produced it was then applied a clustering algorithm based on the similarity between given pairs of points. The results obtained from bio acoustical analyses, highlight the importance of geographical and ecological differences of the populations and species considered, besides the importance of the duration of individual howls related to body size. In any case further analysis are necessary using a larger sample and the whole howling of considered species. The videos for behavioral analysis were collected in areas with feeding points refilled regularly. Their analysis has resulted in the frequency of behaviors and their transitions. The highest frequencies were found “for body bent down” and vigilance behaviors, and for some of the combinations that contained them. The significant sequences, contained threat behaviors. These suggest that the presence of con-specific and birds at the feeding point, can bother the jackal that feeds. Behavioral analysis showed that, in all probability the vigilance of the golden jackal in the study area is due to the presence of con-specific and birds that can steal food; based on this, it would be interesting to see if the vigilance of the animal that feeds in the presence of other animals increases and if this increase can lead to chronic stress that can affect the fitness of the jackals present in the study area.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ALERT! Otis tarda and jackals in Burgenland Austria, relation to be monitored!

by Ovidiu C. Banea

It seems, (news HERE) that Environmental Board Authorities from Burgenland Austria are preparing a law to become in discussion and possible applied during the coming January 2017 on the hot topic of declaring or not, jackal species as IAS (Invasive Alien Species). Just by supposition that jackal species could appear in the natural areal of the great bustard Otis tarda, Game Mangement Authority is close to name jackals as IAS and purpose specific harvesting and hunting management, while is known that in Austria only few jackal sightings were reported in the recent past, and these at the Hungarian border.

GOJAGE remembers Austrian Game Management Authorities that a condition to be fill before every kind of management measure in case of the golden jackal species is to demonstrate the exponential growth of the actual living population, this after colonization period, then to assure the allochtonous character, which in case of jackal species it was already demonstrated to be errouneously considered, as the species is considered a natural colonizer, and yes ultimately to be demonstrated a direct negative impact to protected or endangered biota. In this case, if a possible negative impact relation could be demonstrated in relation to Otis tarda, the species requiers an International debate and scientific studies to be eventually considered in a determined area with "Invasiveness" not even IAS, being perfect possible to be declared full protected in the proximal land. More data and "Letter of Complaint" in the Baltic case (here). This letter and arguments determined Lithuanian authorities and from other Baltic states to avoid Invasive Alien Species nomenclature in case of the European golden jackal.
The great bustard Otis tarda (in green resident populations)

Otis tarda Factsheet (European Union)

Although the great bustard has a wide range, its population in Europe is now highly fragmented, surviving only in relatively isolated pockets in a few EU Member States (half the EU population is found in Spain). The threats are relatively well known : 

• Agricultural intensification: the most critical threat comes from continued habitat loss resulting from ploughing up grasslands, intensifying cereal production to mono-cropping or permanent crops, and irrigating dry culture land;
• Infrastructure development: other land use changes such as afforestation, construction of roads, powerlines, wind farms, housing etc. in or near the species range also causes habitat loss and significant disturbance leading to a reduced breeding success;
• Application of certain agricultural practices: the use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in core bird habitat, ploughing of fallow in spring, early harvesting and burning of stubble in summer can destroy nests, poison adults and reduce food sources;
• Change of crops: a reduction in alfalfa or other leguminous winter crops affects the birds’ chances of survival due to reduced food sources and cover in winter;
• Overgrazing: inappropriate grazing management may damage breeding grounds;
• Collision with powerlines: bustards are big birds, their poor manoeuvrability in flight renders them unable to evade poorly marked powerlines. Collision with overhead cables is a significant cause of death in some countries. Small populations can be totally destroyed by a single powerline;
• Human disturbance: disturbance causes stress, desertion of clutches, and in the case of young birds, a reduction in time spent feeding. Disturbance at the display sites disrupts social behaviour and usually prevents reproduction;
Predation: eggs and chicks are predated by foxes, corvids and dogs

The question of how jackals could affect negatively the great bustard remains to be addressed to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) and ask a detailed integrate monitoring to Otis tarda species, red foxes, and also for jackals and other known threats identification in the specified natural areas to assess the species applied ecology and natural areas invasibility before every management measure which may produce irreversible effects to golden jackal species.
The Golden jackal is a Community Interest species ("Habitats Directive" 92/43/EEC) listed in Annex Va together with pine marten (Martes martes), European polecat (Mustela putorius) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) between other mammals. Monitoring of conservation status is an obligation arising from Article 11 of the Habitats Directive for all habitats (as listed in Annex I) and species of Community interest (as listed in Annex II, IV and V) . Consequently this provision is not restricted to Natura 2000 sites and data need to be collected both in and outside the Natura 2000 network to achieve a full appreciation of conservation status. The main results of this monitoring have to be reported to the Commission every six years according to Article 17 of the directive.
After all, the Golden jackal invasiveness, the arrival (introduced by humans?), spreading and establishing of a new survival population, should be carefully assessed and in regions with high invasibility degree to be differentiate of the erroneously discussed IAS (invasive alien species) nomenclature, which in case of the Golden jackal was largely assessed by several European research groups and scientific community (European Commission ALERT: Jackal should not be considered as IAS in Europe).

13th of December 2016
Reykjavik, Iceland

AXA WZL 2017, jackal susceptible ecological system monitoring in Lithuania

by Ovidiu C. Banea

During the period 13th-16th January 2017 a team organized by Gintarė Žalkauskaitė from Baltijos Vilkas NGO Vilnius Lithuania and Ovidiu C. Banea from Ecology Department of NGO Crispus Sibiu Romania will perform bio-acoustic monitoring in natural areas susceptible to be jackal specific ecological systems in Southern Lithuania. The winter wildlife survey it is named AXA WZL 2017 after the names of protected natural areas, national parks and agriculture farmlands where the activities will take place: Wigry National Park (NE Poland), Žuvinto Biosphere Reserve with Cepkeliai Nature Reserve near Dzukija National Park and Labanoras National Park. During this winter stage a number of more than 40 calling stations will be installed in Lithuania. These points will be used systematically for future jackal density determinations, to evaluate if this species will be able to spread and establish survival clusters and teritorial groups in the region. During the meeting the organizers will share experience of wolf, jackal and other carnivore species ecological system integrative monitoring during a brief International Colloquium.

AXA WZL 2017 GOJAGE Winter wildlife survey in Lithuania

Protected areas: SCI and SPA

Wolves distribution map

Lynx distribution map

Red foxes distribution map

Wigry NE Poland,  Žuvinto Biosphere Reserve and Cepkeliai-Dzukija National Park

Labanoro NP

New data on jackal jackal monitoring Austria

Jennifer Hatlauf presented in 2015, her Master thesis on "Potenzieller Lebensraum des Goldschakals (Canis aureus) - Status, Habitatfaktoren und Modellierungsansatz" with an important review on recent European available literature regarding jackal species. This work included Geographic Information Systems models on jackal distribution according to few described ecological factors like wetland preferences and water stream proximity between others. After this extensive work, Jennifer started to evaluate systematically jackal density in few Austrian natural areas using Bio Acoustic Monitoring, the technique introduced in Europe by Environmental Ecologist, Mr Giorgos Giannatos in 2001. This technique is used now by several research groups accross Europe (Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Ukraine, Germany and Romania).
Together with Prof Dr Häcklender, Jennifer presented an actualized data with recent jackal sightings in Austria during the last conference meeting in Germany (here).