The golden jackal Canis aureus Linnaeus is the rarest canid species in Greece. The species has experienced a population decline over the past three decades on both Samos and in Greece in general. It is protected under Annex V of the EU Habitats Directive. The European Conservation Status however for the golden jackal in Greece is currently defined as ‘Unfavourable-Inadequate’.

Archipelagos Institute is working in collaboration with Samos International Airport and the University of the West of England, UK, to establish the population and distribution of the golden jackal (Canis aureus L.) at the airport area. Both wildlife and domestic animals can cause considerable aircraft damage, with collisions costing an estimated $US 1.2 billion worldwide in 2002 (Allan 2002[1]). Data on the population, home range, activity patterns and use of the airport habitat will inform an exclusion process that aims to protect the golden jackal whilst removing the threat of aircraft damage through collision with a jackal. The population of golden jackals at the airport will be monitored both before and after the exclusion in order to determine the effects on home range, habitat use and activity.


The terrestrial team has deployed acoustic devices, the Song Meter SM4, in order to detect individual jackal calls. This will be interpreted using R programming in order to determine the population of jackals in the airport and its vicinity. Acoustic data is being used in conjunction with camera trap footage of jackals.

This is the beginning of a three year study which could inform animal exclusion processes at airports globally in an ecologically sustainable manner.

[1]   Allan, 2002. The costs of bird strikes and bird strike prevention In L. Clark, J. Hone, J.A. Shivik, R.A. Watkins, K.C. Vercauteren, J.K. Yoder (Eds.), Human Conflicts with Wildlife: Economic Considerations, Proceedings of the Third NWRC Special Symposium, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO, USA (2002), pp. 147–153.

Lisa Newth

MSe Ecology Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College England, Terrestrial Team Supervisor