Jackals are a type of canine, animals that are related to dogs, coyotes, foxes and wolves. They look like a cross between a German shepherd and a fox. They have the fox’s small face, delicate legs and fluffy tail, with the German shepherd’s long, alert ears.

There are three species of jackal. There’s the black-backed jackal; the golden, or common, jackal; and the side-striped jackal. All three species are about the size of domestic dogs. They grow to 27 to 33 inches (70 to 85 centimeters) shoulder to rump, with a tail length of about 10 inches (25 cm).

They stand about 16 inches (40 cm) at the shoulder and weigh 11 to 26 lbs. (5 to 12 kilograms).

The black-backed jackal has black hair running from the back of the neck to the tail. The rest of the body is reddish-brown or ginger and the chest is white. Side-striped jackals are light gray to tan with a white stripe from elbow to hip and black side stripes. The golden jackal’s coat is usually yellow to pale gold and brown-tipped, but the color can vary with season and region.



Jackals are very territorial and monogamous pairs will fiercely defend their territory from intruders. Territories may also contain some young adults who have remained with their parents until they are able to establish their own territories. Both male and female jackals scent mark their boundaries. The Black-backed Jackal is the most commonly seen species as it is diurnal. The other two species have a tendency to behave nocturnally. Jackals are adaptable animals and can adapt easily to changing environments. They trot quickly through their territories, frequently stopping to sniff the air and smell for food.

They are very vocal and communicate with each other using a loud yell or yap, growls and high pitched howls, particularly when prey is located. The Side-striped Jackal uses a ‘hoot’ sound like an owls rather than a howl. Jackals will only take notice of the calls from their family and will ignore all other calls.

Jackals are preyed upon by eagles, leopards and hyenas. Eagles are the biggest threat to newborn pups.

This animal is nocturnal, omnivorous scavengers. With their long legs and curved canine teeth, they are well adapted for hunting. Some Jackals may gather to scavenge a carcass or to hunt larger prey such as antelope, gazelles and livestock but normally hunt alone or in pairs. Their diet consists of small mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Jackals kill small prey with a bite to the back of the neck. They may also shake the animal. Jackals will also supplement their diet with insects, vegetation and fruit. Jackals have a habit of burying their food if an intruder enters the area where it is feeding.


Jackals habitats include desert, grassy plains and open (sometimes wooded) savannas depending on species. The Common Jackal is generally found in deserts, steppes and semi-arid deserts, the Black-backed Jackal is found in woodlands and savannas and the Side-striped Jackal prefers marshes, bush land and mountains


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.

Methods of hunting permitted for use:

  • stalking,
  • corralling, ambush hunting,
  • using hunting birds, lair hunting,
  • imitating the howling,
  • trapping (automatic trap),
  • using hunting dogs

Permitted hunting tools:

Hunting fire smooth-bore long-barreled arms, hunting firearm with a rifled barrel of caliber no more than 8 mm and a seating distancenot more than 51 mm (including a caliber of 5.6 mm for a rim-fire cartridge); hunting firearm combined weapons (smooth-bore and rifted gun), including with rebarreling and auxiliary rifled barrels of 5.6 mm caliber for rim-fire cartridge; traps (automatic traps), including deadfalls of various types, mole traps, cherkans (wooden traps for animals living in lodges), gin traps, snares, and other analogues of automatic traps, as well as nets, cages, live traps and etc; cold bladed hunting weapon.


Jackal’s pelts are used for collars and women’s fur coats.