15+ Interesting Facts About Jackals

  1. Jackals belong to canines. These medium-sized mammals are closely related to wolves, dogs, foxes, and coyotes.
  2. There are three species of jackals. Golden jackals are native to Eurasia, while black-backed and side-striped jackals are present in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
  3. The African golden wolf was previously considered a jackal. However, a study in 2015 established they are wolves and separate from the golden jackals of Eurasia. (Source)
  4. Jackals usually live alone or in pairs. However, they sometimes form small packs. These packs can hunt relatively large animals like sheep or antelopes.
  5. Jackals are opportunistic animals that eat small animals and carrion. They usually follow lions and other big cats to eat the carrion of their hunt.
  6. All three jackal species are nocturnal. Apart from side-striped jackals, the other two species are also active at dusk and dawn. 
    A side-striped jackal in a national park
    Side-striped jackals are the only true nocturnal species

  7. These mammals have a gland on the base of their tails. Secretion of this gland produces an unpleasant odor.
  8. Jackals are monogamous, and both males and females look after young ones. Pups open their eyes ten days after birth. Older mammals protect and feed their younger siblings.
  9. Jackals change their underground den every two weeks to protect babies from predators.
  10. Jackals can interbreed with domestic dogs in the wild and captivity. These hybrids are fertile and can reproduce. (Source)
  11. Their habitats includes savannas, grasslands, deserts, woodlands, and marshes. According to the IUCN red list, all jackal species are least concerned.
  12. Jackals have good night vision. Their senses of smell and hearing are also better than many other animals.
  13. Jackals are omnivores and consume a variety of foods. They eat meat, fruits, grass, decomposed flesh, and human trash.
  14. Every jackal family produces a unique yipping sound. Family members respond only to this individual sound.
  15. Jackals can climb trees and swim. They use these skills to avoid predators or in search of food.
  16. Jackals can survive for up to 9 years in the wild. They can live for 16 years in captivity.
  17. Animals like leopards, hyenas, and eagles are the top predators of jackals.
  18. Jackals try to stay away from humans, the reason behind their reputation of being cowards. However, they can attack if provoked or to protect their den.


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