Archipelagos Institute and Fraport Greece announce their joint efforts for sustainable management of wildlife at Samos airport

Samos – During the past year, an innovative effort has been underway to manage the population of Golden Jackals residing within the area of Samos Airport “Aristarchos of Samos”. Archipelagos Institute is in cooperation with Fraport Greece and have joined forces for the sustainable management and safe removal of the jackals from the airport area.

Samos Airport has been built on a wetland that is one of the natural habitats of the Golden Jackal. A possible collision between a Golden Jackal and an aircraft, could result to the animal being killed, as well as serious damage caused to the aircraft. To avert this, Fraport Greece is focused in the removal of the Golden Jackal from the airport area with the use of state of the art practices of sustainable management.

Since May 2017, zoology scientists from the Archipelagos Institute have been studying jackal population in the airport area with the scientific support of the University of West of England in Bristol.

To monitor Golden Jackals and to collect the necessary data, the team uses the latest technology available: new generation infrared cameras with motion detectors for night recordings, passive acoustic monitoring systems, etc. A phase out method for the jackals to be removed from the airport site to the adjacent wetland – which constitutes their preferred habitat – has been also designed and put in place.

March 2018 – before the commencement of the breeding period, the first phase of Golden Jackals gradual repulsion process to the adjacent wetland, outside of the airport’s fenced perimeter, was successfully completed. An 80-member team of researchers from the Archipelagos Institute, as well as airport staff, participated in this operation.

It is worth mentioning that the Samos Golden Jackal is a special population of this species, genetically unique compared to other golden jackal populations in the Balkans, as demonstrated by the recent research by Plos One. It is also an exception for a large mammal as it lives on the boundaries of the settlements going largely unnoticed (except for the sounds it produces) and without causing any damage to humans, or animals. The golden jackal is active during the night, while it hides in burrows or nests during the day either in dense vegetation or in small underground tunnels. At the same time, its population offers significant “services” to the island of Samos, as it limits the growth of rodent populations, contributing in this way to both agricultural production and the enhancement of natural reforestation processes.

The project of gradual and mild relocation of the golden jackal population from Samos Airport is a world first and aims at becoming an international model for the management of large mammals in airport spaces, balancing the need for flight safety and the principles of environmental protection.

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For more information:

Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation: Contact Details: Anastasia Miliou, tel +30 2273061191, email:
Fraport Greece: Giannis Papazoglou tel +30 214 4000 449, email: