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Black-backed Jackal - did you know...

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Black-backed Jackal - did you know...

Black-backed Jackal

Canis mesomelas

Black-backed Jackal


  • are often called the Silver-backed jackal, because of the golden color with black/silver marking running down the saddle on its back.
  • can only be found in Africa.
  • are active both during day and night.
  • pair for life and are territorial,the pair bond is extremely strong. Pairs hunt, defend, and patrol together on their home ranges.
  • both male and female scent-mark with urine. When foraging together they will often mark the same places.
  • male and female both take part in the rearing and feeding of young, subadults from previous breeding season will also bring food to the young.

  • pups begin to leave the den by approx. 7 weeks, and forage close by the den with their parents. In this period they are extremely  vulnerable to attack by predators such as leopard, cheetah or even certain eagle-species.
  • pups are mature by 11 months.
  • are very opportunistic and will even attempt snatching food from a male lion.
  • have a very broad diet, including small mammals, fruit, berries and carrion.
  • if they have a food surplus, they will bury it for later consumption.
  • can survive without water by eating moist fruits.

  • use holes in the ground (mostly dug by other animals) as dens.
  • The species name for the black-backed jackal, mesomelas, means "black-middled" in Greek



Wild Ways – Peter Apps 

Beat about the Bush – Trevor Carnaby

Safari Companion - Richard D. Estes

Behaviour guide to African mammals - Richard D. Estes

Kingdon Field Guide to African mammals - Jonathan Kingdon




Did you know...