Facts and Knowledge:

The golden jackal is a fast, efficient hunter over grasslands and bush.  It is also a caring and protective parent, maintaining strong family bonds.  The golden jackal is the most widespread of the four species of jackal.  It is found from northeast Africa to Burma.  In some parts of its range it lives in the same areas as other jackal species.  But since these animals live in different habitats within a range, competition for food is minimal.

Habitat:  The golden jackal's long, muscular leg and light body are built for speed; its easily runs great distances.  The jackal forms strong family ties and lives in pairs or small groups.  It is a territorial animal; each member of a group marks its boundaries with urine.  bights with intruders are rare; they are usually warned off.  The jackal communities with other jackals using many calls, from a high pitched howl to a whine or bark.  On the Serengeti Plain in Tanzania, the golden jackal shares its range with the silver backed jackal.  The golden species inhabits the open plains inhabits the open plains while the silver back prefers the bush.

Breeding The golden jackal paris for life.  Breeding takes place in October during the dry season.  When the female does into heat (is able to mate)  her mate guards her from males intruders.  He keeps them from mating with her beaus another male jackal can sire (father) some of the pups in the same litter.  The pregnancy lasts nine weeks.  Shortly before birth the female finds a nursery den.  Her six or more pups are born with fur  but are blind and helpless for their first few days.

For the first three weeks she feeds them solely on her milk and rarely leaves them.  Once the pups are able to eat solid food a parent goes out and hunts for prey., then swallows it and returns to the den.  The pups lick the parent's face until it regurgitates (spits back up) the now oftener food.  After eight weeks the pups are weaned, but they rely upon the parents for food for the next three months.  The pups are so dependent on both of their parents that if one parent dies art this time the pups perish too.

Food & Hunting: The golden jackal hunts with its partner or in pairs, mainly at night.  Contrary to popular belief, the jackal is not just a scavenger.  Instead it relies on its hunting skills, its keen hearing to detect the movement of prey, and its speed to catch it.  The golden jackal, from insects, birds, rodents, and amphibians to young gazelles.  It pounces on small prey with ears pricked, back arched, ad bushy tail out strengthen.

The jackal chases larger prey until the prey drops from exhaustion or is weak enough for the jackal to pull down.  The kill  is swift, the jackal tears first into its victim's belly.  The jackal rarely attack an adult gazelle with young because it might fight fiercely in defiance.  The golden jackal drags away any food that it does not eat and buries it or hides it under vegetation for later.  The jackal is quick to take advantage of the remains of kills that lions leave.  It also may rummage in garbage dumps near towns, looking for a free meal.

Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Length: 2 - 3 1/2 ft, head to tail.
Tail length: 8 to 15 in.
Height: 1 1/2 ft to shoulder
Weight: Average 24 lbs.

Breeding:
Sexual Maturity: 11 months.
Mating season: October
Gestation: 63 days
No of pups:  up to 9 pups

Lifestyle:
Habit: Sociable, lives in small family groups
Diet: Small animals and young deer. Also some carrion.
Life span: 8 to 9 years

Related Species: There are currently 17 species of macaw.  Some have become extinct, such as the Cuban macaw, which became extinct in 1864.
Distribution: Southwestern Europe, East and North Africa, southern Asia and East to Burma.
Conservation:  Of the four jackal species, the golden, silver backed, and side striped are in no danger.  The Sidemen jackal of Ethiopia is endangered, as few as 500 pairs exist.

Pack Hierarchy Rituals of the Golden Jackal:
In the northern range the jackal forms large packs with one Dominant (controlling) male,  who relies upon ritual behavior to maintain his dominance..
The dominant male and the aggressor will circle, each sizing up his opponent.
The aggressor tires to bite the throat of the dominant male, who fends him off.  These encounters are rarely bloody.
The defeated aggressor shows his submission to the dominant male by lying down and exposing his vulnerable underbelly.

Did you know:
A solitary jackal fails to make a kill 80 percent of the time.  Pairs have a failure rate of only 30 percent.
A mother jackal cares for her young alone in her den.  At the first sign of disturbance she will move her pups to a new den.
Many newborn jackals die when their dens flood.
A golden jackal can drive off predators many times its own weight.
Jackal pairs live in territories of up to one square mile.
One or two immature jackals often stay behind with their parents to assist them in rearing the next litter.

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