First golden jackal in Hainich National Park, Germany

The expansion of the golden jackal continues, as new sightings appear in the media. In August 2019, the first golden jackal was captured on camera in Hainich National Park, home to Hainich WILDForest. Afterwards, the National Park communicated this news broadly, as it was the first observed golden jackal in the region for a long time.

To stay or on transit?

The golden jackal population continues to expand rapidly through Europe. Individuals have made it to the Baltic States, Denmark, France and even The Netherlands. Whether this individual was only on transit or to settle is unknown at the moment. Over time, the camera traps will reveal if the golden jackal decided to stay in Hainich National Park or not. For locals, there is no reason to panic, as the golden jackal forms no treat to humans. As it mostly eats whatever it can find, its diet varies greatly. Nevertheless, livestock owners should be careful. Incidents with depredation have occurred, so it is useful to implement proper protection measures for livestock. This will keep not only the golden jackal out, but also its bigger relative the wolf. Although territories of golden jackals and wolves rarely overlap, Germany now holds several wolf packs in the region already.

Wilderness in Hainich WILDForest

The 1570 hectares of WILDForest in Hainich National Park became part of the European Wilderness Network in 2017. Under the motto ‘Let nature be nature’ the forest has room for natural development without human intervention. An important part of the National Park and Hainich WILDForest consists of native beech trees. These parts are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathian and Other Regions of Europe. With our recently started Interreg Central Europe project BEECH POWER, an international consortium aims to improve management quality of these UNESCO World Heritage component parts. Visit the project website for more information.

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