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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jackals in Netherlands? Crispus NGO Sibiu analysis

A golden jackal wants to start a business in the Netherlands, but he does not have Dutch nationality!

by Ovidiu C. Banea

Many Baltic and Northern countries are now challenging with the arrival of a new species on their lands and Sea coasts. After Estonia and Latvia, jackal are seen in Lithuania, Poland and even in Denmark or Netherlands.
On 25th of February 2016, Edgar van der Grift, Senior Research Scientist of Wageningen UR, Alterra Environmental Science Group (Animal Ecology) sent three photos informing on a possible jackal record in Netherlands to Ing. Martin Šálek, Ph.D. from the Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Then, GOJAGE members received the photos and the photografies were identified as belonging to the European golden jackal species.
To assess this species report, out of its known range, members of Crispus NGO Sibiu Romania performed a key-analysis using the new GOJAGE Guidelines, and Expert/Non-Expert Criteria from the last technical report published in GOJAGE e-Bulletin (Hatlauf et al 2016).

According to the Expert/Non-Expert Criteria this new report is valid and in this moment belongs to C3 category (Weak Evidence). 

Using GOJAGE guidelines (the end worksheet table) the report could be rised to C1 (Strong Evidence) only if the expert woul be invited to make an analysis of ecological factors and perfom other methods. 

Mass-media in Netherlands announced this report informing that specimen could arrived crossing the border, escaped from a zoo or abandoned. The team of Alterra Environmental Science Group announced that they will continue to investigate species ecology in Netherlands. The fieldwork and phototrapping was organized for ungulates studies and the administration of the natural area didn´t want to inform on exact location of the report. The possible area of this report is located in Veluwe Heathlands National Park.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Jackal suitable habitat in Czech Republic

by Ovidiu C. Banea

On 1st and 2nd of October 2015 I could arrive in the vicinity of Bartošovický luh from Poodří Protected Landscape Area in Oder River floodplain an area suitable to jackal species. The forested hills to the eastern part of this region are known to be populated with LC (lynx, wolves, bears).
BAM couldn´t be performed due to the missing of logistics and local support but a camera trapp was instaled. In this area two jackals were killed in 2014 and 2015. No jackal was photographed, but I heard one spontaneous howl which I do not recognize as official record due to unreproducibility.

Crispus NGO Sibiu will perform BAM in this area. A contact was already established with zoologist Mgr. Štěpán Tračík, vedoucí strážní služby from Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, Regionální pracoviště Správa CHKO Poodří.
On 1st day, I met Mr Fux Karachovic, maybe the sole Mongolian calligrapher in Europe and we talked about thoughts and jackals.

Train to Suhdol via Prerov
Soviet Map with study area
Specific habitat 1
Exact place of camera-trapp
Odra River at Suhdol nah Odrou

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

HISTRIA 2015, wildlife survey in jackal ecosystems of Danube Delta

by Ovidiu C Banea

During the period 27-31 of May 2015 took place HISTRIA 2015, wildlife survey in Complexul Sacalin-Zatoane, Caraorman levee and Grindul Lupilor Nature Reserves all located in Danube Delta. See full report here.

Sacalin Lagoon, laboratory of NGO Crispus Sibiu.

Study sites during HISTRIA 2015

Jackal territorial groups responses in Oct 2012 and May 2015. The results should be carefully interpreted due to less activity outside the dens during early summer. Another survey should be performed in autumn-winter season to confirm data. A jackal was shot in Caraorman at the end of March 2015. See case report here. At our knowledge no impact assessment study was performed to the golden jackal species.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baltica 2015, first stage. Golden Jackal Bio Acoustic Monitoring in Ukraine and Poland

BALTICA 2015, first stage completed. 

by Ovidiu C Banea

Golden Jackal Bio Acoustic Monitoring (BAM) was performed in West Polesie, near Bialowieza Forest and in Biebrza marshes during 1-4 of March 2015 period. To this survey participated Ucrainian Environmental Ecologist Dr Andriy-Taras Bashta, Zoologist Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz from Poland and Environmental Ecologist MSc Ovidiu Banea from Romania, all members of GOJAGE (press release). Wigry National Park in NE Poland couldn´t be included in this survey.

During the night, 1 to 2nd of March we worked in Shatsk National Park in 15 calling stations already installed in september 2013 during Olbia 2013 wildlife survey in Ukraine.

Shatsk National Park was declared Biosphere Reserve in 2002 and in Poland another similar Biosphere Reserve was declared at the same time: Western Polesie Biosphere Reserve. In 2012 West Polesie Transboundary Biosphere Reserve was declared in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine.

Mr Volodimir Zakharko, director of Shatsk National Park assured that the golden jackal wasn´t reported in the area until this time, but, since in Tomasouka (Belarus) a jackal was killed in 2012, all rangers are informed about the possibility of the new species appearance. As in 2013 we didn´t perform BAM in the region of Tomasouka due to its location in Belarus and the missing of the travel visa.

Specific habitat, Zhorany Lake (NV Ukraine)

Specific habitat, surroundings of Bialowieza Forest (East Poland)

Specific habitat (East Poland)

Specific habitat (East Poland)

Suitable habitat (Zürich region, Switzerland)

Narew River, (Bialowieza, Poland) see here Vistula River Basin Catchment

Nature Reserve Pulemetske lake (NV Ukraine)

Zhorany lake (NV Ukraine)

Museum and Institute of Zoology, PAS Warsaw (Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz and Ovidiu C Banea)

Shatsk National Park Administration, NV Ukraine

Svitiaz village Nr 121, Beautiful place to stay with very welcoming hosts. Shatsk Park (NV Ukraine)

BAM for the golden jackal species in East Poland

Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza (East Poland)

Dr Rafal Kowalczyk, Director Mammal Research Institute, PAS Bialowieza with Prof Dr Wieslaw Bogdanowicz, Director of the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS and GOJAGE member talking about BAM in the area of Bialowieza and surroundings.

Sketch of the wildlife survey in Vecinity of Bialowieza Forest, 2nd of March 2015

Ovidiu C Banea, Volodimir Zakharko, Andriy-Taras Bashta and Vasyl

Dr Bogdanowicz perfomring BAM near Narew River

Hajnovka, Poland

Brunch in Shatsk National Park, Canadian bullhead fish (introduced species)

Nature Reserves in both Western Polesie and Shatsk Park Biosphere Reserves (2002)

Rafal Kowalczyk, Wieslaw Bogdanowicz, Ovidiu Banea

Sketch of wildlife survey in Biebrza marshes

Calling stations proposed for Baltica 2015, first stage. We couldn´t perform BAM in Wigry National Park, so this winter survey in NE Poland we consider incomplete and data of our results should be interpreted very cautiously.

Suitable habitat (Switzerland)

Ovidiu Banea & Andriy-Taras Bashta


Shatsk Park. In all 15 calling stations no response of jackal species was obtained. In 3 locations we heared the common crane Grus grus. We observed in the morning one Sciurus vulgaris and one Lepus europaeus. Director Volodimir Zakharko assured us that Canis lupus are present in the area, that in the Park Hunting is forbidden but that they had a special permission to hunt Vulpes vulpes. In 2014 an amount of 33 specimens of red foxes were collected. He also mentioned Nyctereutes procyonoides and Castor fiber species presence in the area.

Bialowieza surroundings. We analyzed 14 calling stations on day 2nd of March 2015 from 10:47pm to 4:55am. No jackal response, but in 2 calling stations we had responses of common crane again. We also observed 5 specimens of Lepus europaeus in one car route with longitude of about 70-80km and in one location we heared Athene noctua.

Biebrza marshes. From 10 proposed calling stations we performed BAM in 6 of them where the road had less traffic intensity. Again, no jackal responses.

To take home (conclusions):
1) Baltica 2015, first stage didn´t include Wigry National Park as we have proposed, so the results of this winter survey has to be cautiously analyzed. The hypothesis was that in this area of Wigry NP we will find jackal responses and in the other 3 natural areas also. The fact that we didn´t find responses in Shatsk, Bialowieza surroundings and Biebrza Marshes natural areas during this survey if it will be mixed with same findings in future surveys and with the possibility of the presence of the species in Northern Poland or W Lithuania will support LDD pattern we suggested before.
2) The Health of the ecosystems in NW Ukraine (West Polesie) and E Poland could be another limiting factor of jackal expansion to these natural areas. The presence of owls, wolves, foxes and other mesocarnivores could explain the missing of new trofic niche for jackals. Time will tell us if this assumption could be true.
3) Possible interaction of jackal with the common crane in native places could explain our findings in these wintering places (see here sympatric pattern of both species). This is one difference to take it in account with Balkans or SE Europe.. To assess this relation more data is needed anyway! To observe responses of the common crane in wintering places with jackal broadcast and other different sounds.
4) In NE Poland jackal could be present but this is not demonstrated yet! A new stage of Baltica 2015 will be organized in October 2015 to perform BAM in natural areas of Lithuania, NE Poland and perhaps NW Ukraine (West Polesie Transboundary Biosphere Reserve).