In 2017, the golden jackal appeared for the first time in France, and this wild species is considered a recent arrival. A researcher was interviewed by Brut to explain what precisely this animal represents and how it arrived on the French territory.
According to Jean-Michel Vandel, Director of Research and Scientific Support at the French Office of Biodiversity, the golden jackal is a species of canid that falls between the fox and the wolf in size. It has a pointed snout like the fox and rounded, small ears like the wolf, which can sometimes cause confusion with these two species. The golden jackal is a relatively new species in France, with the first photo confirming its presence dating from 2017. It is currently observed in five French departments. But what exactly is the golden jackal?
It will show interest in feeding on carcasses
According to the researcher interviewed, this species had never existed before in France and is native to Asia. It was introduced into Europe about 2000 years ago and remained confined to southeastern Europe, around Greece and the Balkans, until the 1960s. From that time on, regulations were put in place to protect nature and predators, allowing this species to develop. It began to colonize northern and western Europe and finally arrived in France.
The golden jackal is protected by directives and laws in France, as it arrived in the country by a natural process. It is not allowed to be hunted and does not pose any danger to the population. According to the researcher interviewed, the golden jackal has a very pronounced scavenger character and feeds mainly on the carcasses of domestic or wild prey. It can also practice predation, but on prey adapted to its size and much smaller than the wolf. Although it is not excluded that it can attack domestic species, it will only target small prey such as poultry or lambs, and rarely beyond.
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