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Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas), Namibia.Golden JackalBlack-backed jackal(Canis Mesomelas), Cape Cross, NamibiaGolden Jackal (Canis aureus)Black-backed Jackal in the Masaai Mara, Kenya
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Jackal Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Canis Aureus
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
90-105cm (35-42in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
6.8-11kg (15-24lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
32 km/h (20 mph)
How long the animal lives for
8-15 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Tan, Brown, Grey, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Grass plains and dry woodland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Antelope, Reptiles, Insects
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Hyena, Leopard, Eagles
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Short body and large ears and eyes

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Jackal Location

Map of Jackal Locations


The jackal is a medium sized member of the dog family, originally found in Africa, Asia and southeast Europe. There are four main species of jackal with these jackal species being the golden jackal, the side-striped jackal, the black-backed jackal and the Ethiopian wolf jackal. The golden jackal is the most northernly species of jackal and can be found as far east as Burma in Southeast Asia.

Jackals are generally found in packs of roughly between 10 and 30 jackal individuals. Jackals use their large group numbers to their advantage and work together in a similar way to a wolf pack to both occasionally hunt for food but more so that the jackals can protect one another.

Jackals are small canines that have adapted to hunting small mammals, birds and reptiles. Some species of jackal have even been known to eat poisonous snakes. Jackals are carnivorous mammals and jackals will often scavenge the remains of kills made by other larger predators.

The jackal is a nocturnal mammal that can easily maintain speeds of 16km an hour for long periods of time. Although the jackal belongs to a jackal pack, jackals often prefer to hunt alone or with only one other jackal. This means that the jackals tend to have a higher chance of ambushing their prey as if the jackals regularly hunted in large groups, the jackals would have less success in being stealthy and silent.

Although the majority of the diet of the jackal is made up of meat, many jackal individuals (particularly those jackals living in the tropics of Southeast Asia) will often eat plant matter if no meat can be found.

Jackals are very territorial animals and jackals have no hesitation in defending their marked territory. Jackals have a wide range of vocal sounds that are specific to each jackal family meaning that is rare for families of competing jackals to come into accidental contact with one another.

Jackals inhabit crevices in rocks and dens made by other animals in order to keep the jackals cool while they sleep. Although many jackal individuals live a nocturnal existence, particularly those jackals that inhabit areas close to humans, some jackals in more remote areas are slightly more diurnal and will be out hunting during the cooler times of the day.

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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]