The effect of anthropogenic resources on the space-use patterns of golden jackals

Authors

  • Guy Rotem,

    1. Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion 84990, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Haim Berger,

    1. Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion 84990, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Roni King,

    1. Science Division, Nature and Parks Authority, Jerusalem, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Pua Bar (Kutiel),

    1. Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion 84990, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David Saltz

    Corresponding author
    1. Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, 84990, Israel, and Science Division, Nature and Parks Authority, Jerusalem, Israel
    • Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion 84990, Israel.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Associate Editor: Bret A. Collier

Abstract

We studied the influence of agricultural villages on space-use patterns of golden jackals (Canis aureus Linnaeus) in the Mediterranean region of Israel. Villages in our research area attract jackals due to poor sanitation conditions in and around villages. As resources in these villages are abundant and predictable, we expected that space-use patterns of jackals near those villages, including home-range characteristics and movement paths, would differ from those of jackals inhabiting more natural areas. Using radio-locations from 16 individuals (8 near villages and 8 from more natural areas), we found that mean home-range size of jackals close to villages was 6.6 ± 4.5 km2, smaller than mean home-range size of jackals in more natural areas (21.2 ± 9.3 km2, P = 0.001). Similarly, core area size of jackals near villages was 1.2 ± 0.92 km2, compared to 3.5 ± 1.6 km2 for individuals inhabiting more natural areas (P = 0.004). The core area/home-range ratio was greater for jackals near villages than for those occupying more natural areas (0.122 ± 0.045 vs. 0.095 ± 0.037, respectively, P = 0.004). Jackals moved little during the day, with day ranges smaller for jackals near villages than away from them (1.65 ± 0.67 vs. 7.5 ± 5.6 km2, respectively, P = 0.028). However, jackals near villages moved as much at night as did jackals in more natural areas, although movement was in a less directional manner. Changes in distribution and predictability of resources due to anthropogenic activity affect not only the home-range size of jackals, but also how they utilize and move through space. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Ancillary