Research on the Golden Jackal of Samos
Jackal diet preference survey
Jackals are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they will eat anything available at the moment, ranging from grapes and carobs to rodents and birds or even animal carcasses. The aim of this survey is to investigate the preference of seasonal and easy to find food like carob or olives with not so common, man-made food like bread and with nutrient dense food like meat but which is hard to reach, for example hanging on string.
Survey needs to be repeated at least 40-50 times to get reliable data and to be able to do statistical analysis. Ideally, cameras are set up 2-3 times per week, depending on weather conditions (cameras are not waterproof). Cameras will be set up close to the main research base where jackal presence was recorded during previous surveys.
Acoustic survey results will inform us about jackal population changes and allow us to compare results not only with previous surveys in Samos but with similar studies held around the Europe as well.
Current surveys cover 1/3 of Samos island. Surveys happen on windless and dry nights with visible moon. The aim of survey is to assess the presence of jackal territorial groups within range of the broadcast sites. Surveys are done by listening and recording jackal response after playing recorded jackal howl for 30 seconds. The jackal howl needs to be played 5 times with 5 minutes pause to detect response..