n African Zoology - Spatial utilization by black-backed jackals in southeastern Botswana

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Space use by black-backed jackals was investigated between November 1995 and February 1997 in the Mokolodi Nature Reserve (MNR) in southeastern Botswana. Mean aggregate home-range size for the three radio-collared jackals was 15.9 km2. Mean home-range size varied between seasons with a tendency for range expansion during winter. The first two radio-collared jackals had similar activity patterns and were most active at dawn and dusk. Distances moved between hourly re-locations ranged from 2 m to 3000 m, and average distances moved between hourly relocations differed between individuals. The mean distance travelled per 24-hour period was 14.6 km. Time of day influenced movements considerably, with greater distances being moved during dawn and dusk. Extraterritorial excursions directed towards farmland were frequent and accounted for 21.1 % ( = 66) of all radio relocations. Jackals in MNR utilized wooded cover for denning, predator avoidance and foraging.They did not use habitats according to their proportional availability in any season. In all seasonsjackals used open savanna grassland, Croton / Combretum tree savanna, and seasonalfloodplains less than expected from their availability, and used tree and bush savanna,semi-sweet mixed bushveld and agricultural areas much more than expected. Implications ofspace use by jackals on management and conservation are discussed.

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