This is fun

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…..

15 thoughts on “This is fun”

  1. The picture of the two jackals is of Black Backed Jackals, common in Africa where they compete with lions, leopards, cheetah, hyena, caracal (lynx), etc. You often see them hanging around the kill of larger predators, waiting for an opportunity to scavenge.

    Did they use elephants to cross the Alps?

  2. Surely it was Cannibal who used elephants to cross the Alps?

    I say, I say, I say, what do you get if you cross the Alps with elephants?

    Mountains with good memories.

    Is that cracker-worthy?

  3. I’m not sure about Cannibal, but I seem to remember Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

  4. Ms Richard, 42, said jackals would also kill other small mammals and would “change the ecological balance”.

    What is this “ecological balance”? Surely any jackals arriving will create a new “ecological balance”. When did this ‘ecological balance’ occur, was it yesterday? A year ago? A century? What effect do human farmers have on this ‘balance’, I wonder?

  5. Did they use elephants to cross the Alps?

    Hannibal brought some with him but I don’t think any survived the crossing into Italy.

  6. Julia. In the eastern US and Canada coyotes and wolves have been interbreeding, creating the awkwardly named coywolf. A couple of them killed a young woman in a Canadian park several years ago.

    Jackals in France? Were jackals native to Europe at one point?

  7. Europe is but a promontory of Eurasia, Tommydog.

    W says: The European jackal (Canis aureus moreoticus) … is a subspecies of golden jackal native to Southeast Europe, Asia Minor and the Caucasus. … In Europe, there are an estimated 70,000 jackals. Though mostly found in scattered populations within Eastern Europe, its range has grown to encompass … Western Europe, which is thought to be attributable to a decline in grey wolf populations.

  8. @Tommydog: that seems like it must be an incredibly rare occurrence in the wild. Are they sure they aren’t captive animals released by nutjobs?

  9. Julia
    It’s very rare. This may be the only case, but it did happen. The young woman, a Canadian folk singer named Taylor Mitchell, was killed by coyote/wolf hybrids.

    I see coyotes all the time in California, including once in Lincoln Park within San Francisco city limits. I’d never considered them dangerous to people (though they take plenty of stray cats and unwatched small dogs). The coy wolf is much larger and apparently does not share the wolf’s disinclination to be anywhere near people.

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