**Zoology Department, University of the Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Drive, Johannesburg 2000. Republic of S. Africa.
Social organization and movement patterns of Black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas in South Africa*
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2010
Journal of Zoology
Volume 199, Issue 4, pages 487–502, April 1983
How to Cite
Ferguson, J. W. H., Nel, J. A. J. and Wet, M. J. d. (1983), Social organization and movement patterns of Black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas in South Africa. Journal of Zoology, 199: 487–502. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1983.tb05101.x
*Based on a M.Sc. dissertation presented to the Pretoria University during 1980.
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2010
- Accepted 10 August 1981
Black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas were studied in three areas in Southern Africa, by means of radio tracking, visual observations and ear tagging. Jackal pups moved from the close proximity of their natal dens at 3 months of age, but stayed in the vicinity of the dens for at least 6 months. Dispersal often occurred at an age of about 2 years, mainly during the winter. Adult jackals had smaller home ranges than younger animals. Adult home ranges were inhabited by mated pairs. These ranges were mutually exclusive and differed in size between study areas. The home ranges of immature jackals overlapped extensively with those of the adult jackals. Some young jackals acted as helpers in rearing the pups at natal dens, while others roamed over large areas. Adult jackals move over longer daily distances than did younger animals. The significance of the division of Black-backed jackal populations into breeding and non-breeding components is discussed as well as the similarities among the social systems of Canis mesomelas. C. aureus and C. latrans.