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Expansion range of the golden jackal in Hungary between 1997 and 2006

László Szabó1 / Miklós Heltai1 / Eleonóra Szűcs2 / József Lanszki3 / Róbert Lehoczki1

1Institute for Wildlife Conservation, Szent István University, Páter K. u. 1, 2103 Gödöllõ, Hungary

2Department of Zoology, Mammal Collection, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Ludovika tér 2, 1083 Budapest, Hungary

3Department of Nature Conservation, University of Kaposvár, P.O. Box 16, Kaposvár 7401, Hungary

Corresponding author

Citation Information: mammalia. Volume 73, Issue 4, Pages 307–311, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: 10.1515/MAMM.2009.048, September 2009

Publication History

Published Online:


The golden jackal (Canis aureus), an indigenous predator of Hungary, is listed in the Hungarian Red Data Book as an extinct species because it had disappeared from the country by the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1990s a repatriation process was started in the southern part of Hungary. To monitor the presence of jackals and/or population changes countrywide, a questionnaire survey was mailed to Hungarian game management units (GMUs) between 1997 and 2006. Proof specimens, field observations and hunting bag data were also analysed. During the study period approximately 100 proof specimens were identified. According to official hunting bag data, the number of bags reported has continuously increased for 10 years, with 11 jackals shot in 1997 and a total of 163 specimens shot up to 2006 (linear regression, R2=0.949, p<0.0001), which is in parallel with the four animals reported by GMUs in 1997 and the total of 67 up to 2006 (linear regression, R2=0.983, p<0.0001). Detection of animals and their signs proves the continuous presence and the existence of stable populations of the species. Independent data collection and analysis confirmed that golden jackals have settled in Hungary. The rate of expansion and population growth are typical of invasive species.

Keywords: Canidae; distribution; occurrence; proof specimen; spreading

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