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Occurrence and Some Ecological Aspects of the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758) in the Gaza Strip, Palestine

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: The Golden Jackal (Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758), which belongs to the Canidae family, is an opportunist carnivore in the Gaza Strip (365 square kilometers). The current study aims at giving notes on the occurrence and some ecological aspects of the species in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. The study, which lasted 14 years (2007-2020), is descriptive and cumulative in its style. It was based on frequent field visits, direct observations and meetings and discussions with wildlife hunters, farmers and other stakeholders. The findings of the study show that Gazans are familiar with the Golden Jackal to the extent that a Gazan family holds the Arabic name of the animal, which is “Wawi”. The Golden Jackal was sometimes encountered and hunted in the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip, which are characterized by the presence of wilderness areas, intensive agriculture, poultry pens and solid waste landfills. Like other a few mammalian faunas, the adult Golden Jackals enter the Gaza Strip through gaps in or burrows beneath the metal borders separating the Gaza Strip from the rest of the Palestinian Territories and Egypt. Gaza zoos were found to harbor tens of Golden Jackals trapped or hunted by clever wildlife hunters using different means such as wire cages known locally as “maltash” and foothold traps with metal jaws that may cause lesions to the trapped animals. Poisoning and shooting were also common methods used to control the jackals and other carnivores causing harm to agriculture and livestock. The animal was known among the Gazans as an omnivore, feeding on wild and domestic animals in addition to plant materials, garbage and carrions. In conclusion, the study recommends the need to raise ecological awareness to preserve the Golden jackal and to adopt safe control measures for jackals and other carnivores, including the construction of protective fences for agricultural fields and animal pens.

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