Thursday 5 November 2020

Karstic Golden Jackal

The Golden Jackal Canis aureus is a quite recent and spontaneous coloniser of central Europe, originally spreading west from SE Europe and the Black Sea area (check this article). As in several other countries, the species is becoming increasingly common also in Slovenia, where strong populations are already well-established, especially in the Primorska region in the west of the country (see the species' distribution in Slovenia). The Karst is one of its main strongholds and howling "packs" can be frequently heard around villages in the evenings. Apparently we also have several nuclei in our home area in the Karst around Sežana as there are some places where we hear them on a regular basis. Some weeks ago, while driving on the motorway near Sežana, Sara spotted a Jackal in a small clearing by the motorway's fence. The meadow happens to be a few hundred metres from the nearest motorway exit and has an easy access through a gravel road. On that occasion Sara rushed to check if the Jackal was still there, but with no luck. Today around 11.30 am the same scene repeted to Domen: he spotted a (the?) Jackal from the motorway, roving on the very same meadow. Shortly afterwards he was on the gravel road overlooking the meadow; this time the Jackal was still there and allowed about two minutes of observation from the car, at a distance of about 100 metres, before it disappeared in the karstic scrubland. It was enough to take a few shots and record the short video above. An added bonus to the amazing scene was the beautiful backdrop of autumn-coloured Smoke-bushes Cotinus coggygria, so typical of the karstic scrubland at this time of year. 
Back in 2019 Domen had another close encounter with the species in the Karst (see blog) and given the rapid expansion and great adaptability of the species, we can probably expect such encounters to become a regular event in the near future.