A juvenile jackal was found on the roadside, in the area of Ano Vathi, Samos, most probably following an accidental hit by a car. It was found in a state of shock, in the early morning hours during the Christmas period. Archipelagos Institute was informed by the Samos Police authorities and researchers swiftly went to intervene at the time of the incident. The Jackal was carefully collected and transferred to Archipelagos’ research base near Pythagorio. It was monitored carefully over a period of two days and a basic assessment for injury was carried out. The Jackal had experienced a large amount of stress, however it successfully calmed down and was in a fit state to return to the wild.
Archipelagos Institute would like thank the police officers who immediately reported this incident, and are very thankful for their support whilst they remained at the point of the Jackal for 1.5 hours (despite the bad weather conditions and the early morning hours when this happened). Protecting it this way, until our colleagues were able to reach the location, was vital to its rehabilitation.
Its notable that Samos island is home to the only surviving insular Golden Jackal population in Greece, one of the very few on European land. This population is genetically unique compared to other Golden Jackal populations in the Balkans, as demonstrated by the research in which Archipelagos Institute was part of, that was published in the scientific journal PlosOne (http://archipelago.gr/documentation/genetic-structure-and-expansion-of-golden-jackals/). It is also a rare case exception of a large mammal that lives on the boundaries of settlements, but largely go unnoticed (except for their howls) and do not cause disruption to humans, livestock or pets.
Golden Jackals are active during the night, however, during the day they hide in burrows or nests, either in dense vegetation or in small underground tunnels. As can be seen in Archipelagos’ recent scientific publication http://archipelago.gr/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/JackalPosterFeedingPRINT.pdf the Golden Jackal of Samos feeds mainly with plant matter (olives, berries, wild figs) but also with small rodents such as mice especially during the winter months. The population of jackals on Samos Island offers significant ecosystem services” to the island’s ecology, limiting the spread of rodents and contributing to the protection of crops and natural reforestation processes.
The fact that a small number of people still try to deliberately kill these rare animals is a serious concern to us all and the island’s community.
Click below to see video footage of Golden Jackals, captured by camera traps as part of the project of sustainable management of Golden Jackals at Samos International Airport: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBoLVlkMbt4
And a related article http://archipelago.gr/en/sustainable-management-golden-jackal-population-samos-airport/