Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Golden Jackals continue to spread in Estonia

The Golden Jackal is a fairly new mammal in Estonia, with the first confirmed sightings in 2013. Since then, sightings have become more and more regular. They have been mainly seen, heard and photographed in the coastal areas of West Estonia, including some islands, with only a few sightings from eastern Estonia. Golden Jackal has been officially declared as an alien invasive species and fair game since 2016 and as of November this year 20 specimen have been shot officially.

See the video..

Golden Jackals at Pärnu County / Source: maaleht.delfi.ee

According to research data Golden Jackals in Estonia feed on different plants, domestic animals, bovine animals, birds and invertebrates. Field research of artificial nests in Matsalu coastal meadow reveals that only Magpies and Ravens affect bird nests more than Jackals.  Fox damage has been decreasing compared to last year and this suggests they are unable to compete with the Jackals. It also seems that Jackals are outcompeting Raccoon Dogs as well.  Jackal and Wolf have different habitat preferences and for this reason Jackals have rarely been found in the hinterland. Anger amongst sheep breeders over the arrival of this species has quickly increased during the year. About 100 incidents of sheep killings have been announced this year, but more thorough investigation is needed to ascertain if these were caused by jackals, wolves or even lynx.

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