Golden jackal spotted in the Austrian Alps

The golden jackal is increasingly spreading in Central Europe. Since the 1980s there have been repeated sightings in Austria. Now, for the first time in Tyrol, a western Austrian state in the Alps, an individual has been observed.

Golden jackal on the rise in the Austrian press

At the end of May, a golden jackal was spotted for the first time in the East Tyrolean Pustertal. In Austria, there have been only a few golden jackal records in recent years. Also in South Tyrol, Upper Austria, Carinthia and Styria, golden jackals have been appearing in the past. In 2007 there was the first reproduction in the National park Neusiedler See – Seewinkel. The press reaction to the latest sighting was fast and quite positive, emphasising that the species poses no danger to humans.

Monitoring the distribution

The golden jackal is listed under Annex V of the Flora and Fauna Habitat Directives. This means that all European countries must work towards a favourable conservation status. Therefore, all countries should monitor the jackal population, especially if they consider management measures.

Since 2015, an Austrian golden jackal project, investigating the distribution of the golden jackal in Austria has been carried out at the IWJ (Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management) of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). The goal of the project is the establishment of monitoring standards to provide for a long-term golden jackal observation. Another important element of the project is awareness raising and the involvement of various stakeholders as well as the general public. One way of public involvement is creating the possibility to report golden jackal records. Each individual can easily report direct and indirect sightings under this link.

And where can it be expected? The golden jackal tends to adapt quite well to different circumstances, which creates flexibility in its habitat selection. If one is interested to be able to recognise the tracks of the golden jackal, it resembles that of a red fox, but the middle bales are fused together in the lower part.

The golden jackal will continue to expand its population not just in Austria, but all around Europe. Therefore it contribute to re-establishing nature’s balance in Europe on the long-term.

The return of the Golden Jackal

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