Scientifically referred to as Canis Mesomelas, the black-backed jackal is a notable Africa safari wild game explored by travelers to Africa including those on Uganda Safaris and tours and lives in the two areas on the continent of Africa with approximately 900km in between. These areas include the southern tip of the continent including Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana and eastern coastline including Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Listed as the species of Least Concern by
the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the
black-backed jackal features great adaptability and wide spread range
despite its persecution as a predator of livestock. Appearing like a
fox-like canid, the Black-backed Jackal is marked with slender body,
large ears and long legs. It stretches from 6 – 13kg in terms of weight,
38 – 48cm at the shoulder height and 67.3 – 81.2cm in body length as
explored on Safaris in Uganda.
coat is reddish brown while the black saddle marked with silver hair
stretch from the shoulders to the base of the tail. The Black-backed
jackal features a bushy tail marked with a black tip. Regarding
behaviour, the Black-backed jackal is territorial and monogamous. The
territory is defended by marking the boundaries with urine and faeces
and the intruders are expelled aggressively.
jackal features a gestation period of sixty (60) days and the mating
normally occurs from late May to August and then giving birth occur from
July through to October. A range of 1 – 9 pups are normally produced
and are all blind under surveillance of their mother as the father and
the old off spring provide food. The eyes are open after 8 – 10 days and
weaning occurs after 8 – 9 weeks while hunting starts after six (6)
months. The sexual maturity among the Black-backs is normally attained
after eleven (11) months. All this themed interpretation is always heard
from the Uganda Safari Tour guides while undertaking game drive activity in Kidepo Valley National Park where the Black-backed jackals are known to thrive.
Black-backed jackals are Omnivores feeding majorly on invertebrates
like grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes,
termites, scorpions and spiders. They can as well feed on mammals
including; hares, rodents along with young antelopes. They at times feed
on berries and fruits.
Regarding the habitat, the Black-backed
jackal prefers to dwell in open areas marked with little dense
vegetation but it thrives in diverse habitats ranging from areas of
2000mm of rainfall to arid coastal deserts traversing savannahs, alpine
areas and farmlands