Main Article Content
Golden Jackal Canis aureus, a medium-sized omnivore belonging to the family Canidae, ranges widely from Europe and extends across the middle-east to India. It’s adaptable social system according to the distribution of food resources enabling it to range widely from desert to evergreen forests, mangroves, rural, and semi-urban human-agro-ecosystems. Despite its wide distribution, the species has not received adequate scientific attention in much of its southern India range. This study was carried out to assess its distribution pattern, diet composition, and prey preference at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, a well-known habitat for the jackal and the only predator of the sanctuary. Data on distribution collected through extensive field surveys revealed that the species distribution is uniform in southern and southeastern parts of the sanctuary, in areas where the habitat is more open with grasslands and mudflats and is patch in the tropical dry-evergreen habitat. Analysis of 155 scat samples revealed that the diet comprised 19 species of food items, including mammals, birds, insects, other invertebrates, and plant matter characterizing omnivorous nature. Temporal variation in diet composition—with significantly higher proportion of birds during winter than in summer—coincides with abundance of prey species in relation to season, which indicate the opportunistic foraging and hunting nature of the species. Data on diet preference showed that jackals in the area preferred Black-naped Hare, Spotted Dove and Lapwing followed by Chital, Grey Francolin, Cattle Egret, and Large Egret, while Blackbuck, Bonnet Macaque, and cattle were not preferred, which is discussed under optimal foraging. The jackal being the only large-sized predator of this natural system, more detailed studies and effective measures to conserve the species are vital not only to understand the prey-predator mechanism, but also to conserve the biodiversity of this unique ecosystem.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.27188.8.131.5253-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Aiyadurai, A. & Y.V. Jhala (2006). Foraging and habitat use by golden jackals (Canis aureus) in the Bhal region, Gujarat, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 103: 5–12
Ali, R. (2005). Field studies for the conservation and management of Point Calimere, Technical Report, Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning, Pondicherry, 142pp.
Arandhara, S., S. Sathishkumar & N. Baskaran (2020). Modelling the effect of covariates on the detectability and density of native Blackbucks and invasive feral-horse using multiple covariate distance sampling at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern India. Mammalian Biology, 100: 173–186.
Baskaran, N., S. Arandhara & S. Sathishkumar (2020). Project Completion Report submitted to SERB, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, 47pp.
Baskaran, N., K. Ramkumaran & G. Karthikeyan (2016). Spatial and dietary overlap between Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) and feral horse (Equus caballus) at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern India: competition between native versus introduced species. Mammalian Biology 81: 295–302. https://doi.org/10.1016 /j.mambio.2016.02.004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2016.02.004
Barkowski, J.A. & R. Manor (2011). Diet composition of Golden Jackal in Israel. Zoological Fennici 48: 108–118.
Bekoff, M. & E.M. Gese (2003). Coyote (Canis latrans), pp. 467–481. In: Feldhamer, G.A., B.C. Thompson & J.A. Chapman (eds.). Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, xiii+1216pp.
Bilde, T. & S. Toft (1998). Quantifying food limitation of arthropod predators in the field. Oecologia 115: 54–58 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s004420050490
Buckland, J.F., D.R. Anderson, K.P. Burnham, T.L. Laake, D.L. Borchers & L. Thomas (2004). Advanced Distance Sampling. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, 414pp.
Burnham, K.P., D.R. Anderson, & J.L. Laake (1980). Estimation of density from line transects sampling of biological populations. Wildlife Monographs 72: 1–202.
Chourasia, P., K. Mondal, K. Sankar & Q. Qureshi (2012). Food Habits of Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) and Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Western India. World Journal of Zoology 7(2): 106–112.
Ćirović, D., A. Penezić & M. Krofel (2016). Jackals as cleaners: Ecosystem services provided by a mesocarnivore in human-dominated landscapes. Biological Conservation 199: 51–55.
Clutton-Brock, J., G. B. Corbett & M. Hills (1976). A review of the family Canidae, with a classification by numerical methods. Bulletin of British Museum Natural History (Zoology) 29: 1–99. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.part.6922 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.part.6922
Jethva, B. & Y.V. Jhala (2004). Foraging ecology, economics and conservation of Indian wolves in the Bhal region of Gujarat, Western India. Biological Conservation 116: 351–357.
Gittleman, J.L. & P.H. Harvey (1982). Carnivore home range size, metabolic needs and ecology. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 10: 57–63.
Gupta, S. (2006). Prey abundance and feeding habits of jackal (Canis aureus) in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. M.Sc. dissertation submitted to Department of Wildlife Science. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 72pp.
Hoffmann, M., J., Arnold, J.W., Duckworth, Y. Jhala, J.F. Kamler & M. Krofel (2018). Canis aureus (errata version published in 2020). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T118264161A163507876. Downloaded on 04 June 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T118264161A163507876.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T118264161A163507876.en
Important Bird Area and RAMSAR Site. http://wiienvis.nic.in/Database/IBA_8463.aspx. Accessed on 15 July 2020.
Jacobs, P.J. (1974). Quantitative measurement of food selection: a mechanism of the forage ratio and Ivlev’s selectivity Index. Oecologia 14: 413–417.
Jhala, Y.V. & P.D. Moehlman (2004). Golden jackal (Canus aureus), pp. 156–161. In: Sillero- Zubiri, C., M. Hoffmann & D.W. Macdonald (eds.). Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK, 368pp.
Joseph, S., A.P. Thomas, R. Satheesh & R. Sugathan (2007). Foraging ecology and relative abundance of large carnivores in Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern India. Zoos’ Print Journal 22(5): 2667–2670. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.1491.2667-70 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.1491.2667-70
Karanth, U. & M.E. Sunquist (1995). Prey selection by Tiger, Leopard, and Dhole in tropical forest. Journal of Animal Ecology 64: 439–450.
Karanth, U., J.D. Nichols, N.S. Kumar, W.A. Link & J.E. Hines (2004). Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101: 4854–4858.
Kotwal, P.C., B.C. Sharma & D.K. Pandey (1991). Immobilization and radio collaring of Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) Zoos Print 6(11): 33–34.
Lanszki, J., M. Heltai & L. Szabó (2006). Feeding habits and trophic niche overlap between sympatric Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) and Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the Pannonian ecoregion (Hungary). Canadian Journal of Zoology 84(11): 1647–1656.
Macdonald, D.W. (1979). The flexible social system of the Golden Jackal, Canis aureus. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 5: 17–38.
Majumder, A., K. Sankar, Q. Qureshi & S. Basu (2011). Food habits and temporal activity patterns of the Golden Jackal Canis aureus and the Jungle Cat Felis chaus in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(11): 2221–2225. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2713.2221-5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2713.2221-5
Mukherjee, S., S.P. Goyal & R. Chellam (1994). Refined techniques for the analysis of Asiatic Lion Panthera leo persica scats. Acta Theriologica 39: 425–430.
Muralidharan, S. (1985). Foraging ecology of blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) and its interaction with cattle. M.Sc., Dissertation, Division of Post-Graduate studies in Wildlife Biology. A.V.C. College, Mannampandal, Mayiladuthurai, 72pp.
Nedumaran, R. (1987). Influence of blackbuck at Point Calimere Sanctuary. M.Sc., Dissertation, Department of Zoology, A.V.C. College, Mannampandal, Mayiladuthurai, 78pp.
Poche, R.M., S.J. Evans, P. Sultana, M.A. Hague, R. Sterner & M.A. Siddique (1987). Notes on the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Bangladesh. Mammalia 51: 259–270.
Pyke, G.H., H.R. Pulliam & E.L. Charnov (1977). Optimal Foraging: A Selective Review of Theory and Tests. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 52(2): 137–154.
Radovic, A. & D. Kovacic (2010). Diet composition of the golden jackal (Canis aureus L.) on the Peljesac Peninsula, Dalmatia, Croatia. Periodicum Biologorum 112: 219–224.
Ramasubramaniyan, S. (2012). Management plan in Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary. Tamil Nadu Forest Department, 189pp.
Sankar, K. (1988). Some observations on food habits of jackals (Canis aureus) in Keolaeo National Park, Bharatpur, as shown by scat analysis. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 85: 185–186.
Schaller, G.B. (1967). The Deer and the Tiger: A study of Wildlife in India. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 370pp.
Singh, A., A. Mukherjee, S. Dookia, & H.N. Kumara (2016). High resource availability and lack of competition have increased population of a meso-carnivore- a case study of Golden Jackal in Keoladeo National Park, India. Mammalian Research 61(3): 209–219.
Thomas, L., S.T. Buckland, E.A. Rexstad, J.L. Laake, S. Strindberg, S.L. Hedley, J.R.B.Bishop, T.A. Marques, & K.P. Burnham (2010). Distance software: design and analysis of distance sampling surveys for estimating population size. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 5–14.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01737