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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Golden Jackal

Family : Viverridae
Species : Canis aureus

Head-body length : up to 80 cm
Tail length : up to 25 cm
Weight : up to 10 kg

The Golden Jackal is a medium-sized canid  which mainly inhabits dry, open habitats, and is  less likely to be found in wet, evergreen forests.

They are mainly nocturnal in habits, but may be observed early morning or late afternoon: during the heat of the day they tend to shelter in the cool of their burrows. Their call is described as a series of whines and yelps, which may be heard just before dawn or just after dusk.

In parts of India they may form large packs, but in Southeast Asia they are generally solitary or travel in pairs. Typical family groups comprise a male, female and four to five pups.

Their prey mainly comprises small vertebrates, for example rodents, lizards and frogs, but they will also consume carrion and the remains of animals killed by larger predators.

Their size distinguishes them from the much larger Dhole Cuon alpinus and from typical feral 'domestic' dogs.

Their fur is golden brown to greyish brown in colour, and somewhat shaggy in texture. The hair on the back and upper flanks is tipped with black, as is the end of the bushy tail. The snout is pointed and the ears are held erect at all times.

Golden jackals are wide-ranging and occur on three continents - Africa, Europe and Asia. Within Southeast Asia they are limited to drier habitats of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Figs 1 and 2 : Golden Jackal in Huai Kha Khaeng National Park, Thailand. Image courtesy Tontantravel.

Fig 3 : Example with well developed dark-tipped fur on the flanks. Seen at Kaeng Krachan National Park, Phetchaburi, Thailand. Photo thanks to Charles Currin.

References : M3, M5


Fig 1
ゥ  Tontantravel 
Fig 2  
ゥ  Tontantravel
Fig 3   
ゥ  Charles Currin


Image attribution :
Fig 1  "20194283633_feaceedc6b_o.jpg"by Tontantravel is licensed under