A jackal has been found in France for the first time, alarming farmers campaigning for tougher measures to curb the growing wolf population and troubled by the arrival of another canine predator.
Jackals are smaller than wolves and less likely to attack sheep, according to conservationists, but farmers fear that they will kill lambs and poultry.
A ‘camera trap’, activated by a motion sensor, captured an image of a golden jackal in Savoy near France’s eastern border with Switzerland. The species, the size of large fox, is normally found in south-eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, but its range has started expanding north and west in recent years. Like wolves, which returned to France in the 1990s, the jackal has crossed the Alps.
The thing is, that expansion is generally into areas without wolves. For they are competing for much the same niche. More wolves means fewer golden jackals…..