Cameras of Wageningen UR captured a golden jackal on the Veluwe. It is the first time that this animal was seen in our country.
This happened on Friday 19 February. At five in the morning the animal passed a camera trap, ecologist Edgar van der Grift of Alterra explained. He is project leader of a study on habitat use by ungulates. The location is kept secret. ‘We do not want any fuss in the area. We hope to spot the animal more often. Moreover, this was agreed upon specific request of the land manager.’
The discovery was only seen after the weekend, when a student was checking the memory cards of the cameras. On the black and white picture a doglike animal is seen. The images were presented to jackal experts, who according to Van der Grift were 100 percent certain that this was a golden jackal. Within Europe this animal is on the rise. Initially the animal was only found on the Balkan and in Greece and Turkey. Now the animal is on the rise, as the closest report is from around Frankfurt.
How the animal ended up in our country is unclear. Van der Grift: ‘The animal could have entered on their own, but it is also possible that it escaped or was illegally released. At this moment we are trying to find DNA material of the animal, such as faeces or hairs. This can give an insight into the origin of the animal.’ In the context of the current research dozens of camera traps were placed in the area. Until now the animal was only spotted once.
The Golden jackal an omnivore. He hunts hares, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and birds, but also eats bird eggs fruit and garbage. The species lives in diverse habitats. The animal is found in the steppes, forests and swamps, but also cultural landscapes.