The jackal or golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a predator in the genus Canis and family Candidae. There are 13 sub-species of the jackal. The golden jackal is the only jackal that lives outside of Africa. This is a very adaptive species that can subsist on anything available and live in diverse areas, including savannas of Africa, Caucasus Mountains and forests of India. In Estonia, a wild jackal was first spotted in the Matsalu National Park in February 2013. To that day, it was assumed that the closest natural habitats are thousands of kilometres away in Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Eastern Ukraine. Jackals can traverse long distances in a group, and this enables them to inhabit areas outside the habitat in a short period of time. The golden jackal is similar to the grey wolf but is distinguished by its smaller size, lighter weight, proportionally more elongated torso, shorter legs and tail. Its sand-coloured hair is particularly dark yellow with a tint of black in it. The tail is russet and has a black tip. Unlike other jackals, the golden jackals can show fangs. In 2013, the Environmental Board allowed to hunt the jackal as a foreign species because the rise of its population endangers ground-nesting birds and small mammals. In Estonia, the jackal competes with the raccoon dog for food. Most of the jackals in Estonia live on the coastal parts of Lääne County and along lake Peipsi. Before going to hunt, the jackal lets out a loud howl that is similar to a squealing wail. With this, other nearby jackals are immediately joined. They howl in response to other stimuli as well, for example to church bells. The jackal is a skilful and even impudent predator. This is particularly descriptive of the individuals who live near settlements and come into contact with humans. In areas where apex predators are found, jackals tend to follow them to have a share in the left-over prey. A jackal on a hunt will jog and often stop to sniff the air and listen around. The jackal is mostly a nocturnal animal, but they can be active during the day as well. The jackal forms a family for life. The male animal helps to dig burrows as well as raise the offspring. The gestation lasts 60 days. The cubs are born from end of March to middle of May. The number of cubs born is between 4–6. The female animal nurses them for up to three months, but brings them half-digested meat when they are as young as two weeks of age. The cups become independent in the Fall. The jackal lives for 12–14 years. Jackals are easily tamed but genetic studies show that dogs and jackals are not as closely related as previously thought.
About this stamp in philately foorum.