28 February 2012

Jackal At Suikerbosrand

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in the Gauteng province of South Africa

When I'm camera trapping at a new location I always check what animals might be present. One of the top animals on my wish list is the Black-Backed Jackal.

Black-Backed Jackal (Rooijakkals - Canis mesomelas) looking towards the camera

I'm not sure whether it is because they are (distantly) related to dogs, but there is just something I admire about them. Unfortunately not everybody feels the same way about them, but they manage to survive outside the large protected areas despite being persecuted extensively.

Zipping past the camera

Jackals are omnivores and eat a wide variety of food from young antelope and rodents to insects and wild fruit.

Strolling past the camera

All of the photographs I got of Jackal, in the short time camera trapping at Suikerbosrand, where at night. However, we did see one during the day when we went to collect the cameras. Jackal aren't strictly nocturnal and can be active during the day in areas where they are not disturbed by humans.

Another Jackal trotting past the camera

I'm not sure how many individuals I photographed, but I have a feeling there are quite a lot of them in the reserve. Some of the images seemed to be of younger individuals.

Youngster tip-toeing past the camera

Historically Black-Backed Jackal can be found throughout South Africa. They are still present in many parts of the country and I'm hoping to keep on running into them as I camera trap and visit other areas.

Youngster stepping into view


  1. Jackals are very similar to Coyotes of the Americas. Black-backed Jackals are much more colorful.
    I enjoyed watching them squabble with vultures, high in the Drakensburg Mountains. Great photos.

  2. Nice collection of shots. I also admire any downtrodden members of the dog family.