The Varied diet of the golden jackal (Canis Aureus): Experiences from stomach analyses


  • Shreya Bhattacharya Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Institute for Wildlife Management and NatureConservation, Gödöllő, Páter Károly u. 1, 2100 Hungary; University of Malaysia Sarawak, Institute of Biodiversity and EnvironmentalConservation, 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak Corresponding author, e-mail:
  • László Szabó Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Institute for Wildlife Management and NatureConservation, Gödöllő, Páter Károly u. 1, 2100 Hungary
  • Mihály Márton Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Institute for Wildlife Management and NatureConservation, Gödöllő, Páter Károly u. 1, 2100 Hungary
  • Miklós Heltai Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Institute for Wildlife Management and NatureConservation, Gödöllő, Páter Károly u. 1, 2100 Hungary



Golden Jackals, Feeding Habits, Stomach Analysis


The golden jackal population shows a rapid expansion in Europe during the recent decades, raising several management and conservation issues. Among others, the opportunistic feeding strategies might be a reason which is responsible for the invasive spreading and survival success of the species in various parts of Hungary. Our aim was to analyze the diet composition of the jackal through stomach content analysis to provide an insight about the evolution and behavioural adaptations of this mesopredator. The stomach samples were collected between 2003 and 2014 from different parts of Hungary. The percentage frequency of occurrence (%FO) as well as the biomass (%B) of the stomach content data were analyzed. Statistical analysis tests based on the presence and absence data of the remains of wild ungulates (cervids and wild boar) from seasonal data (winter-spring and summer-autumn) and between gender groups were conducted. Also, comparisons of the presence and absence data for the three main food categories (rodents, big game and vegetative/plant parts) were statistically tested.The results of the comparisons did not show any significant differences between the classes. This can be explained due to the high spatio-temporal variation of the data. The findings of our study shows the presence of a varied composition of food items such as rodents, insects, fruits, plant parts, ungulates (wild boar, cervids), reptiles (such as lizards and pond turtles), bird species (such as pheasants) as well as jaw remains of the red fox. It is noteworthy to mention in this context that majority of the ungulate remains from the stomach contents were associated with maggots, which indicated the presence of carrion consumption. Our study, based on varied diet composition, supports and confirms the opportunistic, scavenging and highly adaptive foraging of the golden jackal.


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The Varied diet of the golden jackal (Canis Aureus): Experiences from stomach analyses. (2023). COLUMELLA – Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 10(2), 5-12.

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