Tag Archives: Side-striped Jackal

Side-striped Jackal

Canis adustus

The Side-striped Jackal is the lesser known of South Africa’s two jackal species and far less common than the Black-backed Jackal.

Side-striped Jackals are mainly nocturnal, active from dusk to dawn, and by day they den in burrows, rocky outcrops or thickets. They hunt small mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates, will eat fruit and berries and will also consume carrion if it is available. They are usually seen singly, in territorial pairs or in family groups.

Female Side-striped Jackals have litters of 2-6 puppies, usually during spring and summer in South Africa, after a 2 month gestation. The male of the pair will bring food back to the den for the female and puppies. The young ones are weaned before they’re 3 months old, but stay with the parents for almost a year. Fully grown, Side-striped Jackals weigh about 10kg and stand about 45cm high at the shoulder. They have a life expectancy in the wild of 10 to 12 years.

Although Side-striped Jackals usually occur at low densities, they’re not endangered and according to the IUCN is of least concern. They’re found throughout the moist savanna habitats of sub-Saharan Africa, from West Africa to Ethiopia, and southwards as far as Angola in the west and South Africa in the south-east. In our country they used to be found only in the north of Kwazulu-Natal and the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, but it appears that they are expanding their range of late. The South African population is estimated at a maximum of around 9,000.