Understanding the black-backed jackal

Working Paper Number: 
Nicoli Nattrass, Beatrice Conradie, Marine Drouilly, M. Justin O'Riain
This paper reviews what we know about black-backed jackal ecology, drawing implications for managing human-wildlife conflict with this species. We review the research literature on the black-backed jackals in the context of other African jackal species and with regard to its diet (part 1), its breeding, territoriality and sociality (part 2), and its role as a ‘problem animal’ for small stock farmers (part 3). We argue that both the historical record (see also Nattrass et al., 2017) and the scientific research points to the need to understand the black-backed jackal as a very adaptable animal whose diet, breeding strategies and social arrangements are context-dependent. We draw implications for the management of black-backed jackal predation (part 4) and need for further research, especially on farmlands and landscapes undergoing a transformation in land use. The paper is part of an inter-disciplinary project about sheep farming and predators in the Karoo.
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