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Sunday, April 21, 2013

ESTONIA JACKAL ORIGIN and LUPASTER

BULGARIA, April 16th  2013

After Giorgos Giannatos, Environmental Ecologist, who introduced bio-acoustic stimulation to jackal studies in Europe in 2001, with lot of experience in jackal ecology, expressed on 9.04.2013 his opinion regarding Jackal recent observations in Estonia,  Prof Dr Nikolai Spassov sent us now his opinion about the Estonian situation. 
While Luca Lapini, Ivana Selanec and Ovidiu Banea believe that jackals reached naturally Matsalu National Park Reserve in West Estonia, Giorgos Giannatos believes that jackal were introduced or they exist as allochtonous species.

Prof Dr Nikolai Spassov & Wildlife Specialist, MSc Giorgos Giannatos

Nikolai Spassov, 16.04.2013 
The fact of discovery of a small group of jackals in Estonia is rather strange. This canid is not adapted to vast forests, cold winters and deep snow, which represent main obstacles for the existence of the jackal population in Europe and Central Asia. That’s why its dispersal till these northern latitudes seems abnormal from the point of view of the knowledge of the ecological requirements of the species. From the other hand we need to have in mind  two circumstances: the extreme ability for adaptation of the high mammals as carnivores and especially the canids; the human factor (the creation of additional quantity of food resources, as well as road building  which helps the invasion of impenetrable territories).  The human factor is the cause of the extreme and unique, as it seems, jackal expansion in Europe during the last decades.  The natural penetration of the Jackal in Estonia  seems rather doubtful, but possibly it is  not absolutely improbable as a consequence of the extreme growth of the population in the South-East of Europe and the existing impulses of dispersal  in relation to this.  On the other hand, I don’t believe in the subsistence  of a jackal population in this northern country. If this is a natural colonization the attempt of survival in northern latitudes is condemned to failure... without an additional human help.

Regarding our note about genetics use in Canis genus phylogeny, Nikolai Spassov present the following suplementary data on Canis lupaster taxonomy: It is possible that it is closer to wolves than to jackal, but its morphology demonstrates specific features, and I still believe that it is a separate species.

Entire GOJAGE report and Nikolai Spassov fragment of original paper, about Canis lupaster skull and teeth morphological feature, here. In Bibliography chapter of this page, Spassov N., 1989 The position of jackals in the Canis genus and life-history of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Bulgaria and on the Balkans is avialable.

On the End of the 2013, Ilya F. Acosta Penkov, biologist in Sofia will start jackal ecology study inside his thesis program as PhD candidate with Prof Dr Spassov as thesis director.

Skull morphology and dentition features of Canis aureus 
(Spassov 1989, Lapini 2011)

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