general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) • ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2023 • Vol. 26 • Contents of volume >>>

download pdfZhyla, S. 2023. The golden jackal (Canis aureus) in the northern Polissia of Ukraine: occurrence in the wild, status, and slow dispersal. Theriologia Ukrainica, 26: 96–104. [In Ukrainian, with English summary]



The golden jackal (Canis aureus) in the northern Polissia of Ukraine: occurrence in the wild, status, and slow dispersal


Sergiy Zhyla (orcid: 0000-0002-3471-6790)


Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve (Ivankiv, Ukraine)
Polissian Natural Reserve (Selezivka, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2023. Vol. 26: 96–104.




Ukrainian, with English summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


The golden jackal continues to slowly inhabit the north of Central Polissia and to disperse. Mostly single individuals are found. The social structure of the jackal is flexible and groups of more than two individuals are found in places of food concentration. A similar situation occurred in the Ubort River valley near the Ukrainian–Belarusian border, when visual encounters of jackal family consisting of probably 3–4 animals were very frequent near the burial place of livestock corpses. In the north of Central Polissia of Ukraine, the jackal has been recorded since 2014. The species is rare here. According to the registration of tracks, this predator is found on a less forested forest ridge between the settlements of Ovruch–Velidnyky–Slovechno–Levkovychi and in the valley of the Uborti River, which is a natural corridor of the species’ northward dispersal. Given Ukraine’s course towards EU membership and the position of the Baltic countries on the jackal, our country will obviously have to take into account the special status of the jackal as a species that has expanded its range on its own. Accordingly, this predator should not be considered an invasive species. Obviously, the problem with the jackal in forested regions of north of Ukraine will be much less severe than in the south in the floodplains of large rivers. In the Polissia, in trophically rich broadleaf forests with mosaic forest cover, the jackal is likely to coexist successfully with the wolf. Interspecific relations between wolves and jackals do not take the form of direct pursuit, but rather by marking territory. It has been found that jackals respond to chemical and visual markings of wolves during dispersal and try to quickly leave areas with high wolf population density. Unlike solitary wolves in the wild, solitary jackals are able to forage for food much more efficiently and therefore have a higher chance of survival in the wild. The preconceived notion of the jackal as a problematic species may not allow for an unbiased assessment of its impact on ecosystems. In its relations with humans, the jackal in the Polissia is a less problematic species compared to wolves, foxes, or American minks. It is necessary to inform the Ukrainian public, authorities and politicians about existing international legal instruments and European experience in managing populations of carnivorous mammals, including the golden jackal.


golden jackal, Canis aureus, range expansion, species status, Ukraine



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