The Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) refers to species that are relatively unknown in current fauna surveys of Ukraine, and therefore formally still not considered as returning species. According to the National Museum of National History, National Academy of science of Ukraine, all available sources of current appearance and features of the expansion of this species in Ukraine are analysed. This species was first recorded in 1998 in the Danube Delta, whence it has spread into adjacent areas of Northern Black Sea. Further routes of the Golden Jackal’s expansion were investigated by using cartographic materials, which were indexed by the dates of the first registration of the jackal. Such analysis suggests three independent directions and waves of the jackal’s expansion in Ukraine: Danube-to-Polissia (the most powerful), Don-to-Donets (average power), and Transcarpathia (weakest). It was found that jackals in Estonia originate from the south-eastern European population, whereas those in Lithuania are of Caucasian origin, thus having travelled most likely through Ukraine.

The jackal’s recent expansion throughout eastern and western Europe has been attributed to historical decreases of wolf populations combined with a warmer climate due to climate change.

This map of Dr Igor Zagorodniuk from National Museum of Natural History of Ukraine published 2014 in a paper called: Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) in Ukraine: Modern Expansion and Status of Species.

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Iryna Shchoka is a regional development expert and is based in Uzhhorod, Ukraine.

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